I sat down with Racked recently to talk about the genesis of The Fashion Law, just how I track down and cover each case, how my law professors feel about my website, and more. I'd like to extend a special thank you to Racked, to all of my wonderful TFL contributors, including Jennifer Williams, Gabriela Lorraine, and the TFL MAN, and to everyone who reads and cares about the important issues. Catch a preview of the piece below and see it in its entirety on Racked ...
Why did you start the site? "After my first year of law school, I felt really uninspired, like it wasn't the place for me. I thought I had made a huge mistake. Then one of my legal mentors mentioned fashion law to me. I started looking into it, and it happened naturally from there."
Were you always interested in fashion? "No, definitely not. I always had an appreciation for fashion, but was initially interested in constitutional law. I planned to pursue a career in that and really focus on human rights issues. But then I started looking into fashion law. There wasn't a lot of information out there. A few sites wrote about it, but no one was consistently providing content focused on fashion law. I began teaching myself, researching and writing every day in connection with my more traditional studies at school. Eventually, I decided to share my work in the form of a blog."
What about the topic do you find interesting? "It marries a very academic topic, law, with one that's less academic. I've realized how much fashion really is a business and how many really smart people are involved."
When do you see other fashion blogs taking the "easy road" out? "A lot of sites glorify fast fashion and that's something that I really believe in not doing. It's a topic I write about a lot. The Primark example recently, when a shopper bought something at Primark and there was a label sewn in from a worker who said they were forced to work really long hours. It came to light after the fact that it was a hoax and a publicity stunt. A lot of sites were really happy to say, 'Okay, this was fake, we can all go back to our lives, it wasn't real.' But I wrote that in that one instance it may be a hoax, but that doesn't change the fact that there are a lot of inhumane practices and abuses that go into the production of fast fashion. So when everyone's happy to put it to bed because that one example wasn't reported accurately, I want to shed light on a bigger issue that people obviously don't want to address."
How did you build your readership? "The Chanel/Pamela Love story helped a lot because other publications started talking about The Fashion Law. But honestly, gaining readership and actively seeking it out has never really been a focus. Promoting my site feels kind of counter-intuitive to me. It isn't going to attract the amount of readers that a site like the Man Repeller does and I'm totally fine with that. I know that not everyone is looking to the blogosphere for quality content; some people just want to read about Kim K. A lot of my readers are people that I admire in the industry, and I'm very content with that.
Do you think there's a need for smart fashion blogs like yours? "That's something that I think about a lot. For awhile now, we've all been quite obsessed with personal style blogging. I actually feel a lot of respect for personal style bloggers because they put themselves out there and a handful of them are extremely knowledgeable. But there's a misconception that everyone who's interested in fashion is just interested in looking pretty and going to shows, when there really is this whole other realm—the business of fashion, the legal aspects of fashion—that's just as big a part, if not bigger, in the grand scheme of things."