The fashion and luxury goods market continues to develop and expand, attracting the interest of celebrities, athletes and other social influencers, as well as global consumer brands, venture capital and private equity funds, and international e-commerce and brand agencies interested in strategic partnerships and marketing agreements related to high-end apparel, accessories and other consumer product lines.
Holland & Knight's Fashion and Luxury Goods attorneys advise prominent U.S. and international consumer goods, fashion, entertainment, media and technology companies on broad-based commercial, corporate, entertainment/media and intellectual property matters on a global scale. Our clients span all stages of the business life cycle, from established privately held and public companies to entrepreneurs and startups.
Our team advises clients on a wide variety of complex, high-profile business agreements and transactions in the fashion industry, including:
- joint ventures and collaborations
- mergers and acquisitions
- corporate formation and development
- private equity and venture capital transactions
- stock and equity transactions
- labor and employment matters, including creative director/executive compensation
- litigation and dispute resolution
- factoring and financing
- talent and social media contracts, collaborations and lender agreements
- intellectual property registrations, protection and enforcement
- trademark and copyright matters
- e-commerce and information technology
- distribution, franchise, licensing and wholesale/retail agreements
- advertising, marketing and sponsorship agreements
- leasing of manufacturing, showroom and retail facilities
- import/export and logistic matters
In-Depth Knowledge of the Fashion Industry
Our attorneys have a deep knowledge of the fashion and luxury goods industry gleaned from years of representing emerging and internationally acclaimed creative directors, designers, photographers, executives of multi-national fashion and luxury goods companies, retailers and manufacturers, as well as prominent models and agents.
We recognize that our clients are focused on challenges and results. Our perspective is broad-based and we strive for innovative solutions that emerge produce substantial and immediate value for our clients' specific business needs.
Among our representative fashion engagements:
- represented a French luxury menswear designer in the negotiations and formation of a joint venture luxury menswear company
- represented a European swimwear and apparel designer in negotiations with an international luxury fashion company
- represented an international accessories designer in the formation of a namesake company, as well as on general corporate and employment matters
- represented a Canadian contemporary women's wear designer in the formation of a namesake company
- represented a top international models' agent in negotiating the transition and executive compensation from one international modeling agency to another
- represented key executives in exit upon $800 million acquisition of luxury accessories company
- represented an international accessories designer and co-owner of namesake company in the dissolution of namesake brand
- conducted a detailed analysis and provided strategy consulting to the designer-founder of a luxury shoe company seeking to expand into emerging markets
- negotiated talent agreements on behalf of commercial client in relation to company's $50 million advertising campaign
- negotiated a multimillion-dollar talent agreement for use of model endorsement of company products
- negotiated a collaboration agreement of accessory designer with a multimillion-dollar leather goods company
- negotiated model usage rights and collaborations for a global fashion modeling agency's models related to top luxury brands
Private Equity, Financing and Venture Capital
Holland & Knight's Fashion and Luxury Goods Team has substantial experience advising, structuring and negotiating various complex joint ventures and collaborations, mergers and acquisitions, private and public equity offerings, and venture capital transactions on behalf of global luxury brands, beverage, consumer package goods, media and publishing companies, including multimillion-dollar deals ranging up to $1 billion.
Our attorneys have successfully helped launch and advise more than 10 fashion brands and five e-commerce/technology companies. In addition, we have successfully raised capital for a variety of entertainment, event promotion, fashion and e-commerce companies looking to launch or expand their products and services.
We also advise clients in connection with private finance and other commercial transactions in the fashion industry, including merchant banking transactions, asset-based financings, venture and mezzanine investments, highly leveraged acquisition financings, project and other structured financings, and private placements of debt securities.
Our private equity and financing representations include:
- represented an Italian luxury-brand shoe and accessory company in the analysis and consideration of a $9 million equity investment by an Austrian fashion investment company
- represented a luxury-brand apparel company in the analysis and consideration of a $5 million equity investment by an Italian fashion investment company
- represented a luxury-brand apparel company in the analysis and consideration of a $2 million equity investment by a European private investor
- represented a luxury-brand apparel company in the analysis and consideration of a $10 million equity investment by an international fashion investment fund
- advised a luxury-brand swimwear company in the analysis of company's plan to seek capital financing for expansion of retail operations
- advised investor in review of potential multi-million dollar acquisitions, assessing target company valuations, investment risks, and suitability for investment portfolio
- served as counsel and chief advisor to the designer and company founder of a namesake brand on a multimillion-dollar offer from a family office investor, conducting a comprehensive analysis of capital requirements and valuation in order to evaluate and negotiate the prospective sale in light of alternative funding opportunities
- advised the board of directors of a heritage brand luxury company in the relaunch of the brand, including negotiating the terms of investor capital financing
Intellectual Property, Trademark and Licensing
Protecting intellectual property is of key importance in the fashion industry, and the lawyers on our Fashion and Luxury Goods Team have extensive experience advising companies in various litigation and technology matters, including trademark infringement, licensing and copyright issues.
We have served as lead counsel in the negotiation of more than 50 licensing, strategic partnership and marketing agreements related to accessories, apparel and other consumer product lines on behalf of global brands, including deals ranging up to $50 million in royalty fees.
Our intellectual property, trademark and licensing representations include:
- registered of U.S. and international trademarks and copyrights on behalf of corporations and designers related to luxury goods products sold worldwide
- represented an emerging contemporary fashion company in the negotiations with a global e-commerce retailer related to the use of trademarks and designs in the sale and marketing of clothing line
- advised on the negotiation of a private label credit card for Michael Hill Jewelers, an Australian-based jewelry retailer who recently entered the U.S. market by buying 17 stores from Whitehall Jewelers out of bankruptcy
- represented a European swimwear and apparel designer in negotiations with international luxury denim manufacturer in licensing a swimwear and apparel collaboration
- represented a fragrance and cosmetic company in global license of product
- defended on opposition the filing of copycat and predatory intellectual property registrations in China and Korea
- structured and negotiated the multimillion-dollar acquisition of an exclusive license of an international brand between private investor and founder/namesake
- negotiated a lifetime employment and name/trademark right agreement for designer namesake of 30-year-old luxury brand to help owners preserve key licensing relationships
- represented international shoe brand in repurchase of licensed properties
- represented a jewelry designer in connection with trademark protection of her jewelry designs, which have received increased publicity recently – including an appearance by the jeweler on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show"
Leasing of Showroom and Retail Facilities
Our attorneys have negotiated numerous leases with luxury goods retailers on behalf of the landlords in several retail and mixed-use projects. Representative leases have included such retailers as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Tiffany & Co., David Yurman, Ferragamo, Burberry and many others.