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THE LAW, CULTURE, AND ECONOMICS OF FASHION

THE LAW, CULTURE, AND ECONOMICS OF FASHION

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Published by JNomics
Stanford Law Review: C. Scott Hemphill & Jeannie Suk
Stanford Law Review: C. Scott Hemphill & Jeannie Suk

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Published by: JNomics on Sep 10, 2010
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01/28/2013

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Volume 61, Issue 5 Page 1147 
S
tanford
 
Law Review
 
T
HE
L
AW
,
 
C
ULTURE
,
AND
E
CONOMICS OF
F
ASHION
 
C. Scott Hemphill & Jeannie Suk 
© 2009 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, from the
Stanford  Law Review
at 61 S
TAN
.
 
L.
 
R
EV
. 1147 (2009). For information visithttp://lawreview.stanford.edu.
 
 
1147
 
T
HE
L
AW
,
 
C
ULTURE
,
AND
E
CONOMICS OF
F
ASHION
 
C. Scott Hemphill*& Jeannie Suk**
I
W
I
S
F
A
M
T
A
P
H
U
C
T
I
*Associate Professor of Law and Milton Handler Fellow, Columbia Law School.**Assistant Professor of Law, Harvard Law School. The authors thank RobertAhdieh, Yochai Benkler, Johanna Blakley, Rachel Brewster, Vernon Cassin, Glenn Cohen,Bob Cooter, Domenico De Sole, Hal Edgar, Liz Emens, Noah Feldman, Robert Ferguson,Amy Finkelstein, Terry Fisher, Jeanne Fromer, Bill Gentry, Jane Ginsburg, Victor Goldberg,Jack Goldsmith, Paul Goldstein, Jeff Gordon, Laura Hammond, Michael Heller, LaurenHoward, Olati Johnson, Avery Katz, Alon Klement, Meg Koster, Mark Lemley, LarryLessig, Doug Lichtman, Clarisa Long, Ronald Mann, Sara Marcketti, Martha Minow, HenryMonaghan, Ed Morrison, Melissa Murray, Ben Olken, John Palfrey, Mitch Polinsky,Richard Posner, Alex Raskolnikov, Kal Raustiala, Susan Scafidi, David Schizer, ElizabethScott, Steve Shavell, Chris Sprigman, Matt Stephenson, Francine Summa, Cass Sunstein,John Witt, and audiences at Columbia Law School, Harvard Law School, Stanford LawSchool, the University of Tokyo, and the
 New Yorker 
magazine’s 2008 annual conferencefor helpful discussions and comments. Bert Huang provided constant collaborative adviceand support. We thank Sarah Bertozzi, Melanie Brown, Andrew Childers, Jon Cooper,Brittany Cvetanovich, Zeh Ekono, Joseph Fishman, Ilan Graff, Brett Hartman, Andrea Lee,Samantha Lipton, Ruchi Patel, Zoe Pershing-Foley, Miriam Weiler, and Ming Zhu forexcellent research assistance, and the staff of the Columbia Law School, Fashion Institute of Technology, and Harvard Law School libraries for their efforts procuring difficult sources.Special thanks to the several dozen stakeholders—in fashion houses, government agencies,industry associations, and law firms—for interviews from which we gained valuable insightson fashion design and the fashion industry. Views and errors in this Article are those of theauthors only.
 
1148
STANFORD LAW REVIEW 
[Vol. 61:1147
 
T
P
O
D
C
A
I
NDEX OF
F
IGURES AND
T
ABLES
 
I
NTRODUCTION
 Fashion is one of the world’s most important creative industries. It is themajor output of a global business with annual U.S. sales of more than $200billion—larger than those of books, movies, and music combined.
1
Everyonewears clothing and inevitably participates in fashion to some degree. Fashion isalso a subject of periodically rediscovered fascination in virtually all the socialsciences and the humanities.
2
It has provided economic thought with acanonical example in theorizing about consumption and conformity.
3
Social
1.U.S. apparel sales reached $196 billion in 2007.
The U.S. Apparel Market 2007  Dresses Up . . . Way Up
, B
US
.
 
W
IRE
, Mar. 18, 2008 (reporting estimate by the NPD Group).Among fashion accessories, considering just one category, handbags, adds another $5 billionin sales. Tanya Krim,
There’s Nothing “Trivial” About the Purse-suit of the Perfect Bag
,B
RANDWEEK
, Mar. 29, 2007 (reporting U.S. sales exceeding $5 billion in 2005). Forcomparison, U.S. publishers had net sales of $25 billion in 2007. Press Release, Ass’n of Am. Publishers, AAP Reports Book Sales Rose to $25 Billion in 2007 (Mar. 31, 2008),http://www.publishers.org/main/IndustryStats/indStats_02.htm. The motion picture andvideo industry had estimated revenues of $64 billion in 2003. U.S.
 
C
ENSUS
B
UREAU
,
 
2003
 
S
ERVICE
A
NNUAL
S
URVEY
,
 
I
NFORMATION
S
ECTOR
S
ERVICES
(NAICS
 
51)—E
STIMATED
R
EVENUE FOR
E
MPLOYER
F
IRMS
:
 
1998
 
T
HROUGH
2003, at 1 tbl.3.0.1,
available at 
 http://www.census.gov/svsd/www/sas51-1.pdf;
see also
M
OTION
P
ICTURE
A
SS
N OF
A
M
.,
 
I
NC
.,
 
E
NTERTAINMENT
I
NDUSTRY
M
ARKET
S
TATISTICS
2007, at 3,
available at 
 http://www.mpaa.org/USEntertainmentIndustryMarketStats.pdf (reporting U.S. box officesales of nearly $10 billion in 2007). The music industry had U.S. revenue, measured at retail,of about $10 billion in 2007. R
ECORDING
I
NDUS
.
 
A
SS
N OF
A
M
.,
 
2007
 
Y
EAR
-E
ND
S
HIPMENT
S
TATISTICS
,
available at 
http://www.riaa.com/keystatistics.php. Thus fashion is comparablein importance to other core creative industries even if, as seems plausible, some apparel hasa lower intellectual property content.2.
See, e.g.
, L
ARS
S
VENDSEN
,
 
F
ASHION
:
 
A
 
P
HILOSOPHY
7 (John Irons trans., Reaktion2006) (“Fashion has been one of the most influential phenomena in Western civilizationsince the Renaissance.”).3.
See, e.g.
, Harvey Leibenstein,
 Bandwagon, Snob, and Veblen Effects in the Theoryof Consumers’ Demand 
, 64 Q.J.
 
E
CON
. 183 (1950);
see also, e.g.
, Sushil Bikhchandani et al.,
 A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change as Informational Cascades
, 100 J.
 

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