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Retail & Fashion eBulletin: September 2019

16 September 2019

With London Fashion Week drawing to a close tomorrow, our latest Retail & Fashion eBulletin focusses on H&L’s partnership with Not Just A Label, the industry’s changing attitude to underage models and the adidas trade mark ruling.

Not Just a Label: partnership with H&L

We’re delighted to partner with Not Just a Label (NJAL), an online platform with a network of more than 35,000 emerging fashion designers, as part of its premium membership programme, NJAL+, offering our services to start-up fashion designers.

NJAL+ will provide designers with access to NJAL’s newly launched online shopping platform, which directs visitors back to each designer’s personal online store at no commission.

Members will also be able to access a carefully curated tool-kit which includes a series of discounted services and products in everything from marketing, legal services, education and manufacturing.

NJAL Founder and CEO, Stefan Siegel, said: “The purpose of NJAL+ is to empower emerging designers, providing them with key connections and experiences that will unlock greater levels of growth.”

Sandi Simons, partner and co-head of the Retail & Fashion group at Harbottle & Lewis said: “We’re really excited to be a part of this programme and delighted to be working with NJAL on its new venture.”

You can find out more about the NJAL+ programme here.

Models: coming of age

In the fashion industry, the casting of underage models has historically been commonplace. In 1980 Brooke Shields controversially appeared on the front cover of Vogue at the tender age of 14. Some of the most iconic supermodels of the 1990s, including Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, started their careers just shy of 16. Over the years, however, the use of underage models has been a topic of increased scrutiny and the fashion industry has taken a number of steps to restrict such use.

In 2007, the British Fashion Council (BFC) voiced their concern over the growing tendency to recruit underage models. This was in pursuit of a certain body type sought by particular designers, which was felt by many to be only achievable by older models with drastic dieting. As a result, the BFC issued certain health guidelines that strongly recommended that designers cast models who were at least 16 years of age.

You can read the article in full here.

Adidas parallel stripes trade mark ruling

The EU General Court has confirmed that adidas’ trade mark covering three parallel vertical stripes in black, on a white background, is invalid because it lacks distinctive character and doesn’t serve to identify adidas’ goods.

The Court’s decision emphasises that registered marks are interpreted strictly. The scope of protection is based on what the original application for registration covered, and the onus is on applicants to represent their marks clearly and precisely, at the time of filing, so that the subject matter of protection is clear.

The decision also emphasises the rigour that is needed when it comes to proving that a mark like this has acquired the necessary degree of recognition as a brand belonging to a particular company.

You can read the article in full here.

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