Entrevista a Julie Zerbo: La "Fashion Law Blogger" que modificó la colección de Chanel
Julie Zerbo. Estudiante de derecho de Columbus Law School de Washington DC.
Pasión: La Moda.
Resultado: The Fashion Law, el primer blog de su especie.
Esta Americana, de tan solo 25 años, logró lo que mucha gente de la industria sueña en toda su carrera: captar la atención de las grandes marcas internacionales. Y vaya si lo logró: no fue nada más ni nada menos que CHANEL quien se interesó por su trabajo y quien con motivo del descubrimiento de un brazalete muy parecido en su colección, el que había sido lanzado al mercado tiempo atrás por otra diseñadora Pamela Love, lo retiró de la venta. Modificar la colección de Chanel? Si si, a través de un post que causo revuelo. Así, Chanel envió un comunicado de prensa, solicitando las disculpas del caso y retiró del mercado el brazalete en disputa (ver más en Fashionista.com).
Además, varios de los más importantes medios gráficos, entre los que se destacan Vogue, Elle, Glamour, se han referido a ella y su trabajo.
En esta nota en exclusiva para Derecho de la Moda BA Argentina, nos cuenta todo!
Aside from my studies and my work for The Fashion Law, I spend my time reading non-fashion related works, traveling quite a bit with family and friends, and practicing yoga. I try to be removed from the fashion world from time to time.
I am a full time law student and the editor in chief of The Fashion Law. I also do a fair amount of consulting related to the business of fashion.
I was in law school in Washington, D.C. and became interested in fashion law. There weren't many resources there and I noticed a substantial void of information online. There definitely weren't many blogs writing on a consistent basis. So, I started researching and writing.
I didn't really set out to "run a fashion law blog." I just started reading and writing about fashion law and the business of fashion on a daily basis for my own education and then decided to share it after meeting so many others, who are interested in the same field.
In fact, law, business, and economics, the disciplines I have formally studied, are my primary interest, which is what differentiates my site from others I think. Fashion becoming part of my specialty is very much secondary to that. Making the site interesting and chic for my readers is definitely a balance because I see myself much more as an academic and businesswoman than a street style icon.
We heard you discovered a bracelete in Chanel´s collection that was very similar to one from Pamela Love´s. Tell us more about that experience...
I am a huge advocate for emerging and Made in NYC designers, and I am constantly looking at their collections and following their careers. So, when I saw someone wearing the Chanel bracelet in Paris, it registered as a Pamela Love design (from the previous Fall season) to me because it was SO similar. When I realized it was actually a Chanel bracelet, I saw it as a good opportunity to show my readers how inspiration/imitation has permeated all areas of the fashion industry, from fast fashion retailers to one of the most prestigious design houses in the world. After getting wind of the piece I wrote, Chanel acted very ethically and vowed not to sell the jewelry. And that was that.
I received a surprising amount of exposure from it. The Wall Street Journal did a piece on me. Vogue UK did a story. Glamour called me the "brainy fashion blogger." I think it shed light on fashion law as a vital field. Fashion is a multi-billion dollar business, and fashion law is crucial aspect. The situation also emphasized the value of emerging designers in the U.S. both in terms of their unbelievable skills and the important role they play in the U.S. economy.
It varies all the time. I don't have too strict a regimen, which is refreshing. I can say that I definitely do not comb the Internet for examples of copies. This is a common misconception, but I don't have that kind of time. Most of my ideas come to me organically because I very much live in a little bubble of law and academia, and fashion permeates naturally, via my longstanding appreciation for beautiful, well-made clothing, as well as my connections to designers that I respect and other various industry insiders. I am obsessed with advertising in the fashion industry and the business of fashion, and so, nearly everyday, I am looking at images and reading scholarly pieces.
As for creation, it just kind of happens. I get a lot of my writing done on the go. On my iPhone in a taxi or on the plane. In terms of content, I am dreadfully honest and true to my aesthetic and my voice. Many pieces, I suppose, stem from my desire to provide informative, insightful and impartial information for my readers. So much of the fashion industry (including most publications/ blogs) is dictated by biases for whatever reason. I have the luxury of being able to be able say whatever I want largely without fear of ramifications.
That's a tough question right now because I'm in between the Paris shows and the New York shows and probably London. So, things are a bit hectic and team TFL is living in the moment. But we have quite a few projects in the works. Also, I am consistently trying to address more of the topics that fall under the fashion law umbrella, which for me is a range of things; everything from court cases to sales and profit strategies to the modeling industry. So, diversifying is always on the list, as is continuing to support causes that are important to me, such as original design, local manufacturing and emerging designers.
I worked with a lobbyist on the bill back when it was still the IDPPPA, and very much believe in it. I was at the hearing when Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler testified on its behalf, and won't forget how passionately he spoke about the need for design protection. Having said that, the bill isn't perfect and the government process is slow at times. I am optimistic, though.
The future is very exciting for The Fashion Law and fashion law in general. I'm pleased that TFL has become a trust source of information and my primary goal is to maintain that.
Thanks Julie for your kindness, time and hard work!