Christie’s Sells Basquiat for Record $57.3 Million

I posted this :


on the day of auction, putting in my two cents about buying a Basquiat…


Strolling pass Christie’s, when Basquiat taps me on the shoulder...


A mogul bought it, alright.  Read this Art Net article to find out more about Yusaku Maezawa, the 40-year-old founder of Contemporary Art Foundation, and Japan’s largest online fashion mall, Zozotown, who bought Basquiat’s work.  Also check out what else was auctioned, from Jeff Koons to Joan Mitchell works. 



How the Fashion Industry is Changing


I believe the industry may be on to something with the see now/buy now concept.  If you can’t beat fast fashion, why not join them!  Some designers have adopted this new concept in order to protect their ideas from being copied and sold before them, while others feel that they don’t want to succumb to the fast fashion model and want to stick to the fashion schedule with the seasons.  See now-buy now is one solution in protecting your brand, creative ideas, by being one step ahead and maximazing your profit and getting to your consumers before the fast fashion companies do.  That way everyone is on equal footing, all the fashion companies, producing as they create.

Fashion is art, and like fine wine should not be rushed rather savored, might be the opinion of the designers resistant to that change.  I agree, however sometimes you have to acknowledge what’s going on around you and make it work for you in order to maintain a viable business.  The following Harpers Bazaar article discusses this issue:

What do you think?
Cheers to change!

Calling All Emerging #Designers #PhoenixFashionWeek October 1-3


Brian Hill, Executive Director of Phoenix Fashion Week breaking down his passion for the business and how he is helping emerging designers. It's a blessing when you can help others!

What better way to spend a Tuesday night but at a fashion event! I had the pleasure of hanging with my client, Rehka fashion designer & friend and meeting the gracious founder of Phoenix Fashion Week (PHX), Brian Hill. In attendence was Melissa McGraw founder and owner of The Fashion Potential great company for those seeking guidance and advice in their fashion careers. She also teaches one of the worshops at PHX. The meet & greet was hosted by the very chic Elevee Showroom, home to sophisticated bespoke menswear & with an emphasis on golfing attire.  Brian and his fabulous team  toured nine major cities to promote what has grown into a great event in the last eight years.  PHX continues to be the leading fashion industry event in the Southwest. 

“The organization’s mission is to bridge the gap between national and international designers and premier retailers and prestige fashion media. Phoenix Fashion Week’s ultimate goal is to garner global exposure for Arizona’s fashion industry.”

“Me with some great designers, along with Brian Hill and his team Abby, Dominique & one of the workshop speakers and owner of Fashion Potential Melissa McGraw. Check them out Michi by Michele M. Walden sporting her beautiful knit creation. Rehka wearing her hand-painted silk scarf. Melisa Garcia Llamas clutching her very own design. Beautiful, ladies!! Check out their sites and support.”

Designer Katya Leoncio, winner of the emerging designer award has had her swimsuits Dolcessa grace the pages of Sports Illustrated for the last four years. How great is that! Kate Upton is wearing her swimwear line.   She received the guidance and the support needed to further her business and be featured in a major publication.  Designers & models listen up!  This is your shot, you still have time to apply, so head over to the site and find all the details you need.  You could be the next winner. Three-hundred designers applied last year to be part of this four-month boot camp, where you learn the ins and outs of the business of fashion and branding your business. Only 13 designers will be chosen and go on to compete for the Emerging Designer of the Year Award who will win a $10,000 prize, and so much more. The Emerging Model will also sign a contract with The Agency Arizona.


Elevee Showroom

Get your applications in. See you in October!

#FashionLaw Conference: Anti-Counterfeiting Strategies


Fellow attendees Priscilla Leite, Esq., Gabi Klemm, Esq., & Vy Vy Huynh

I had the pleasure of attending the Federal Bar Fashion Law Conference a few weeks ago. Great speakers presented business & unique legal issues affecting the Fashion Industry. Presentations included discussions about 3D printing technology, licensing, Intellectual Property, Counterfeiting, Emerging Markets, & Fashion Financing.


Heather J. McDonald, Partner Baker Hostettler & Raymond P. Dowd, Director of Investigations, Global Security and Investigative Services discussing Anti-counterfeiting Strategies

An area of great interest to me is the issue of trademark counterfeiting which is one of the main issues that plagues fashion companies. Trademark counterfeit occurs when a good is made identical or substantially indistinguishable from the trademarked good. Heather McDonald, one of the many panelists, discussed brand protection and anti-counterfeiting strategies.  She has extensive experience in the area of anti-counterfeiting litigation conducting many civil seizures of counterfeit goods, she was successful in her very first seizure back in 1986. The impact of counterfeit goods costs companies as well as the economy lots of money, but that is not the only cost. Child labor has been connected to the making of counterfeit goods. Heather discussed an article written in Harper’s Bazaar called “The Human Costs of Fakes”, which discussed Chinese factories hiring girls 13 years of age to make counterfeit handbags, like Gucci, Chanel, Prada etc. The girls lived in slave conditions, locked rooms heated by propane heaters. Four girls died when there was a carbon monixide leak and their bodies were dumped in graves to avoid any news coverage. Such a sad story, that hopefully has detered people from buying these counterfeit goods. If people knew this is what they were supporting, I would pray they would stop purchasing such goods.

All of this is relevant to the fashion client, because these companies are ultimately loosing money due to the making of these goods. Here are some protection tools that can be used to protect your companies: Federal Criminal Statues, State Criminal Statutes, Civil(Real Estate, Civil Seizure), & Customs. What companies must do to protect themselves:

1) Enforce. All enforcement of trademarks requires that your trademark be registered with the USPTO, report your trademark with customs & make sure you keep recordation & registration up to date.

2)Training. Train your staff to catch counterfeit goods that are being returned to stores.

3) Third Party Actions. Collecting from alternative sources, when assets of infringer are not readily accessible. Third party liability is an option to go after someone other than the infringer for sale of counterfeit goods, a building owner or a landlord. In New York, under real property law it allows a landlord to be held responsible for the actions of tenants on the property if they had knowledge of what was going on, on the premises and failed to take the appropriate actions to remedy it.

Great information provided by all the speakers. Happy I could attend and share the information with you. Remember to protect your brand & your business!

Fashion Fridays Business Tips: #Clothing Labels

Welcome to my very first episode of the Fashion Law Brief Speak Up Segment. 


Emerging Designers! Great ladies, Mika Osoro, Amanda Uduka @amandafinesse, Anna Turner, Eva http://www.dirtycelebrity.wix, & Mina! Check out their websites!

If you have a Fashion Law question or any other legal question “Speak Up” and I will do my best to answer it!  Old Caribbean saying “A closed mouth don’t get fed”, let your voice be heard! 

Have a great weekend!

Oprah Wins Trademark Battle Over ‘Own Your Power” |


Essence Article
Intellectual Property issues with phrases that lack the requisite distinctiveness to deserve any type of trademark is what happened in this case. “Own Your Power” a phrase used by the Winfrey network, was also used by plaintiff, her company is called Own Your Power Communications. Simone Kelly-Brown trademarked the phrase seven years prior. But, she failed to show how the use of the phrase by Winfrey’s company would cause a likelihood of confusion by consumers. Brown’s company did not prove that they would create a media presence of millions that would cause consumers to confuse her company with that of Oprah’s. I am inclined to agree. I would think this would help her company, people thinking her company is affiliated with Winfrey’s thereby increasing her clientele, no?

Let’s define Fair Use, for future reference. FU, how appropriate, tells the copyright owner FU in no uncertain terms and that there is a limitation or exception to their owning their copyright exclusively. FU is a defense that would be used by the alleged infringers, here Oprah. In determining if Fair Use of a copyrighted work exists, there will be four factor balancing-test:

-the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
-the nature of the copyrighted work;
-the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
-the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The Court determined that “Own Your Power” constituted Fair Use and was used in good faith. The phrase was used in conjunction with images and other words that convey the “overall message of self-empowerment” that are associated with Oprah. So Oprah wins!

That concludes our Intellectual Property lesson for today!