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Fashion Forward: Lessons in Law and Business for Fashion Entrepreneurs

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Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law hosts the Second Annual Fashion Law Symposium, Fashion Forward: Lessons in Law and Business for Fashion Entrepreneurs. This year’s event explores fashion entrepreneurship, trademark and licensing issues and the importance of business relationships when building and monetizing a brand. Sponsored by The Fashion Law Society and The John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship, this symposium brings together fashion experts and trendsetters in the industry, including Lori Kinkade, VP Corporate Counsel and Compliance at David's Bridal; Andrea Canepari, the Consulate General of Italy in Philadelphia; Jeffrey Levinson, Founder of Jeffrey Levinson LLC; and more.

The event takes place on Friday, March 11 from 12-4 p.m. in the Laurence E. Hirsch ’71 Classroom (Rm 101) at the Law School and is open to the Villanova Community and the public. This program is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for 3 substantive credits.


To register for this event, click here.


Registration: 11 a.m., outside room 101


Panel 1: 12-12:45 p.m. "Funding Fashion—The Monetization and Growth of a Fashion Business"

John Kozup, Associate Professor of Marketing and Business Law, Villanova University
Joe Lamastra, Managing Partner, Sandbridge Capital, LLC

The intersection of entrepreneurship, fashion and business come together in this panel, which will discuss the monetization and growth of a fashion business after the initial startup stage. The panelists will speak on the importance of advertising and marketing to monetize a brand and securing marketing, licensing and partnership agreements.


Lunch: 12:45-1:20 p.m.


Panel 2: 1:20-1:55 p.m. “Fashion in House – Legal Insights from the General Counsel”

Lori Kinkade, VP Corporate Counsel and Compliance, David's Bridal
Alfred R. Paliani, General Counsel, Perfumania Holdings, Inc.

The legal challenges facing fashion companies can be complex and extensive. This panel discussion will focus on matters in-house attorneys experience in general counsel roles. Topics regarding labor and employment, licensing and real estate will be explored. 


Panel 3: 1:55-2:40  p.m. “The Fashion Entrepreneur”

Chloe Burch, Co-Founder, Neely & Chloe 
Neely Burch, Co-Founder, Neely & Chloe 
Jeffrey Levinson
, Founder and American Luxury Handbag Designer, Jeffrey Levinson LLC

This panel will discuss the issues and challenges an emerging fashion designer and entrepreneur faces when launching a fashion line. Topics will include: developing brand identity and protecting the brand’s image and designs; the importance of legal counsel in setting up the appropriate protections for trademark designs, copyright and patent registration; and legal and business considerations entrepreneurs face in the fashion industry today.


Guest Speaker: 2:40-3:05 p.m. “Growing and Protecting an International Brand”

Andrea Canepari, Consul General of Italy, Consulate General of Italy in Philadelphia

Andrea Canepari will present on legal matters surrounding business partnerships between Italian and U.S. companies in the fashion industry and the avenues of opportunity for Italian retailers looking to bring their operations to the United States.


Panel 4: 3:05-4 p.m. “The Practice of Fashion Law”

Lisa Lori, Partner, Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP
Andrea Oller, Associate, Ballard Spahr LLP
Kim Warshawsky, Partner, Ballard Spahr LLP

This panel discussion will address the various issues that attorneys face in the practice of fashion law. A globally driven and complex industry, the world of fashion presents many opportunities for attorneys to lend their expertise in areas ranging from real estate, litigation, intellectual property and corporate transactions. This group of experienced fashion law attorneys will speak on key legal issues relevant to these areas as well as current trends in fashion law.

Neely Burch, Co-Founder, Neely & Chloe 
Chloe Burch, Co-Founder, Neely & Chloe 

Neely & Chloe is a direct to consumer business in the contemporary fashion space. Highlighting the personalities of the co-founders, the company has created a lifestyle brand featuring products with sophisticated silhouettes and an elevated esthetic. With a highly curated assortment of high quality handbags and footwear, the brand aims to outfit fashion forward, digitally savvy young women in their 20s and early 30s.

Neely graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2013 with a degree in Art History. With a passion for Art and the market drivers behind the auction world, she took a job at Sotheby’s. About 10 months later, she instead decided to leave Sotheby’s to begin work on her own project. In September 2014, she launched Neely by VNB, a mobile retail concept. For a year and a half, Neely visited over 40 colleges and universities retailing shoes, accessories and jewelry out of her bespoke Airstream trailer. After spending a great deal of time on the road with existing and potential new customers, the company decided to transition away from retailing third party products. Neely brought on her sister, Chloe, as her partner, and the two girls began to develop their own direct to consumer brand of women’s shoes and handbags: Neely & Chloe. 

Chloe attended Washington and Lee University and graduated with a BA in American History in 2014. In July 2014, she accepted a job at J.Crew in its New York headquarters and started in the merchandising department. Merchandising at J. Crew allowed her to touch on all aspects of the business: production, design, allocation, planning and everything in between.  After about a year, Chloe decided to join Neely as her partner, and in August of 2015, Neely & Chloe was formed and the two sisters began to build their brand.


Lori Kinkade, VP Corporate Counsel and Compliance, David's Bridal

Lori Kinkade is currently the Vice President, Corporate Counsel for David’s Bridal, Inc., a specialty wedding retailer with more than 300 stores in the U.S., Canada and the UK. She has global legal advisory responsibility for the strategic marketing plans, e-commerce initiatives, advertising media reviews, privacy initiatives, store operations initiatives, customer service initiatives and all human resource matters. She also manages all litigation for the company and serves on the international expansion team. Prior to joining David’s Bridal, Kinkade began her twenty-three year retail in-house legal career at The May Department Stores Company and later with Macy’s/Bloomingdales, after the merger of the two in 2005. When Macy’s sold David’s Bridal to a private equity firm in 2007, they asked Lori to move to Philadelphia and become their legal counsel. Lori received her Juris Doctorate degree from University of Missouri-Columbia.


Joe Lamastra, Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer, Sandbridge Capital, LLC

Joe Lamastra is the managing partner and CEO of Sandbridge Capital. Since 1998, he has also served as the President of T Capital Management, LLC, a private investment firm where he is a business and investing partner with Tommy Hilfiger. Prior to 1998, Lamastra was a partner and attorney for the law firm Graham Curtin. He specialized in Mergers, Acquisitions Tax and corporate transactions. Lamastra started his career as a Financial Analyst with The Amerivest Group – an investment banking firm located New York City. He also worked for Touche Ross & Company (now Deloitte) in its Tax Department, concentrating on mergers, acquisitions, real estate and other corporate transactions. Lamastra serves on the Villanova University School of Business Dean’s Advisory Board. He has a JD from Seton Hall Law School and a BS in Finance from Villanova University.

Jeffrey Levinson, Founder and American Luxury Handbag Designer, Jeffrey Levinson LLC

Jeffrey Levinson is a new American accessories brand that creates beautiful, timeless women’s fashion accessories. Levinson launched his eponymous brand as an outlet for his creative energy and to pursue his passion for beautiful objects that form a deep emotional connection. After a career spanning scientific advisory, marketing, strategy and corporate finance—and with a grandfather who was an award-winning architect and water color painter and an aunt whose sculpture now sits in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art— Levinson draws on his professional experiences to build his business and on his inherited creativity and natural curiosity to design his collections.


Lisa Lori, Partner, Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP

Lisa A. Lori is a partner in the firm's litigation and intellectual property practice groups. In the field of litigation, Lori maintains a national trial practice, with an emphasis on complex business disputes involving employment, intellectual property, contract, real estate and partnership/shareholder matters.  From fast-moving injunction proceedings and jury trials to arbitrations and mediations, clients bring their high-risk business disputes to Lori. In the field of intellectual property, in addition to litigating trademark, trade secret, unfair competition, copyright and data privacy litigation matters, Lori develops domestic and international brand protection strategies for her clients.  She also negotiates licensing agreements and arrangements, and handles transactions involving the sale or acquisition of intellectual property.


Andrea Oller, Associate, Ballard Spahr LLP

Andrea T. Oller is an associate in the Intellectual Property Department. She handles trademark, copyright and trade dress matters, focusing primarily on trademark prosecution and general brand counseling for clients across a broad range of industries including fashion and consumer goods. She has experience with all facets of U.S. and foreign trademark prosecution. Oller helps clients clear marketing and advertising material and answers day to day questions on social media. She also assists clients with domain name matters including domain name dispute resolution. Before joining Ballard Spahr, Oller worked in legal and compliance for Kate Spade & Company, where she was responsible for managing the operations and daily functions of the company’s global ethics and legal compliance program. Oller oversaw the company's code of ethics and business practices, ethics hotline and corporate trainings on company policies.


Alfred R. Paliani, General Counsel, Perfumania Holdings, Inc.

Fred Paliani has been General Counsel of Perfumania Holdings, Inc. and its affiliated group of both privately and publicly held companies for the past fifteen years. Perfumania, through several of its subsidiaries, owns or is exclusive licensee for approximately 25 prestige designer and celebrity fragrance brands that are distributed throughout the world. As General Counsel, Paliani is responsible for all legal matters including trademark licensing, litigation, labor and employment issues and transactional matters for all of Perfumania’s business units in all jurisdictions. He received undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia and is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey and in numerous federal trial and appellate courts including the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the Board of the International Association of Defense Counsel, a member of the New York State Bar Association and President and Board member of the American Free Trade Association.

Kim Warshawsky, Partner, Ballard Spahr LLP

Kimberly A. Warshawsky focuses her practice on all aspects of IP litigation, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secret litigation; software license disputes; and general commercial litigation. Warshawsky represents clients in matters involving mechanical patents, design patents, Internet and computer-related patents, and biochemical patents. She also represents trademark and copyright owners against infringers and alleged infringers of federal and common-law trademarks and copyrights. She has filed and defended against cybersquatting claims and Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy complaints. In addition to her IP litigation practice, Warshawsky has represented privately and publicly held companies across the country in disputes involving breach of contract, franchise issues, unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets, covenants not to compete, false advertising, shareholder derivative actions and securities fraud claims. She also has also assisted companies with pre-litigation and internal investigations. Warshawsky also represents clients on the transactional side, particularly with respect to trademarks and licensing intellectual property.