Ms María José González is a founder of Fashion Law Chile. She has been awarded as “Most Influential Fashion Lawyer of Chile”.

 

IN THE YEAR 2016, WHEN YOU DECIDED TO COME UP WITH YOUR OWN BLOG ON FASHION LAW, CHILE WHAT WERE YOUR VISIONS?

I had discovered Fashion Law a year before that. In that year all I did (besides being in my second year of law school) was study, read every book, every paper, an article about Fashion Law I could, about IP law, immerse myself in the Fashion Industry and Fashion Law. In 2016, when I was in my third year of law school, I decided I wanted to share all the knowledge I was learning with everyone. I wanted Fashion Law to be known in Chile, that’s why I decided to create something of my own, my own blog about Fashion Law. At the moment I knew it wasn’t going to be easy – and right now isn’t easy as well. I knew many people would laugh at me, some people would start to not taking me seriously and I believe it was that way. Despite all of that, I knew how big the Fashion Industry is worldwide, and how profitable is in my country (at least retail is), and how many new incredible talented designers are discovered every day, and if there’s an industry I knew there was a place for Fashion Law. 

I don’t believe I have a long career in Fashion Law but thank you for that. I’ve seen a lot of developments in the Fashion Industry worldwide. For example, in 2013 – a year before I started law school – Rana Plaza happened; and since then from small brands to huge luxury and fashion companies and retailers started to pay attention to labour issues, human rights concerns, and sustainability. In that aspect I believe it was recently with ‘The Fashion Pact’ that REAL actions were taken; some examples of fashion groups and retailers that have taken action are the Ake ring Group and H&M. I’ve also seen how important is for brands – however big or small they are – to have an Omnichannel strategy, without that most of them wouldn’t be here today, especially after COVID-19 happened. 

“MOST INFLUENTIAL FASHION LAWYER OF CHILE” AWARD WAS PRESENTED TO YOU, WHAT PATH DID YOU CHOOSE TO ACHIEVE SUCH A MILESTONE- PLEASE SHARE YOUR JOURNEY WITH US

I don’t know if there’s any path to win an award. I don’t even know if I’m worthy of that honour. All I can say is I was the happiest I’ve ever been in my professional career. My journey in Fashion Law started in 2015 when I realized I wanted to work for the Fashion Industry – and all things related like beauty, luxury, fragrances, etc. Since then all I have been doing is study, read and write (that’s probably my eat pray love phrase). If I’m being honest, all I’ve been doing since I found Fashion Law is trying to become more “expert” in the field, which under any circumstance makes me an expert. My journey has been that, reading a lot of Fashion Law books, articles, papers; read about the fashion industry and doing courses to learn more about the industry, and finally sharing what I have learned on my blog. 

YOU ARE ONE OF THE YOUNGEST AND FEW MEMBER OF FASHION LAW INDUSTRY, IN CHILE, HOW DOES THAT MAKES YOU FEEL.

It probably makes me feel like I have a lot to prove. Many people and Fashion Lawyers know me in Latin America, Europe, and the US; however, I still feel like in Chile I’m a young lawyer who “likes fashion”, not a fashion lawyer. That’s probably because Fashion Law is still an unknown to many lawyers and law firms in Chile, and also proves that I still have A LOT of work to do, not only to make Fashion Law a speciality known in my country but also to be known as a Fashion Lawyer, not only someone who happens to be a lawyer and likes the fashion industry.

IN THE YEAR 2019, YOU WERE INVITED TO FASHION LAW INSTITUTE ISTANBUL AS A SPEAKER GUEST, WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR LAWYERS INTERESTED IN COMBINING FASHION & LAW

STUDY. There are some online courses online in Latin America, Madrid, and the US, Fordham has an LLM in Fashion Law. But if some don’t have the means to do that it doesn’t matter, there are MANY books out there where you can learn about Fashion Law, and still, if you can’t afford that go to Google Scholar or Hein Online and search for articles about Fashion Law, there are tons of articles from Harvard Law Review, Oxford University Press and many others that are amazing to learn from. Learn from the Fashion Industry: there are increíble courses on Coursera and future learn (all of them free, but if you want a certificate you have to purchase it), and also the courses of Business of Fashion Education are incredible, I highly recommend them, Central Saint Martins has great online courses too. Also, I highly recommend that people choose what field of law they want to be specialized in, for example, commercial law, Intellectual Property Law, Environmental Law, etc, and study the laws that apply to your country and see how that interacts with the Fashion Industry there.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR THE LAW IN FASHION & WHAT IS THE PLACE OF THE LAW IN THE GLOBAL FASHION INDUSTRY?

Fashion Law will be the new Sports Law, but more interesting and better dressed haha! In spite of that joke, I believe Fashion Law is highly important in the global Fashion Industry. Fashion Companies need lawyers, and they need someone who knows how their industry works, what matters to them. The fashion industry doesn’t work the same way as a tech company, or a pharmaceutical company, and that’s why Fashion Law and Fashion Lawyers are so important for the Fashion and Luxury Industry.

No. I am also a practising attorney. 

CAN YOU RECOMMEND A FEW BOOKS OR AUTHORS FROM WHOM YOUNG LAWYERS CAN GET GUIDANCE ON THIS FIELD?

Books:

  • Fashion Law: A Guide for designers, fashion executives, and attorneys: by Guillermo Jiménez and barbara kolsun.
  • European Fashion Law: a practical guide from start-up to global success: by Rosie Burbidge
  • Fashion Law (Derecho de la Moda: Directed by Enrique Ortega Burgos (in Spanish)

Websites:

Articles:

  • Harvard Law Review
  • Oxford University Press

 

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