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Avoiding Fashion Faux Pas: Factors to Consider When Drafting Agreements for Fashion Businesses | jackson walker




In order to properly run a successful business and build a strong brand, fashion companies need to enter into numerous agreements covering the areas of corporate, real estate and intellectual property. This article provides some important factors to consider when drafting favorable terms in three agreements commonly entered into by fashion companies.

Moral clauses in celebrity endorsement deals

First, fashion companies typically enter into celebrity endorsement deals where a celebrity agrees to endorse and promote a fashion company’s products or services. These deals carry significant risk, as famous people and their behavior are closely watched by paparazzi and photo-hungry internet trolls. To protect themselves and their carefully crafted brand identities, fashion companies should include explicit moral clauses in their celebrity endorsement deals.

A moral clause is a provision that prohibits certain behaviors related to the celebrity’s private life. These clauses tend to deal with misconduct, such as sexual acts, drug use, and crime. They are commonly used in the contract between actors/actresses and movie studios to uphold the public image that the studio seeks to portray. Pierre Valery and Emile Nicholas wrote an excellent article on morality clauses here.

When drafting a moral clause, it is important to consider the following factors:

  1. What is the background and reputation of the celebrity? Did a background check reveal any concerning issues?
  2. Is the topic of the endorsement such that some type of scandal could negatively affect the success of the endorsement?
  3. What “wrongdoing” will trigger the clause? Should the list be specific or broad?
  4. Who decides if the clause has been triggered?
  5. Is the clause triggered when an act becomes public or does it only apply to an act committed during the term of the agreement?
  6. Does the clause extend to acts committed by persons closely associated with the celebrity?
  7. What is the remedy sought?
  8. Is the moral clause mutual?

Colocation clauses in commercial leases

Second, fashion companies want to enter into commercial leases that allow them to be nimble, nimble and adapt to customer behavior. For these reasons, fashion companies should negotiate colocation clauses with landlords in their commercial leases.

A colocation clause provides the fashion business with recourse in the event of loss of consumer traffic related to changes in the mall and protects the fashion business by ensuring that the mall remains busy and attracts consumer traffic for the benefit of sales.

When drafting a joint tenancy clause, it is important to consider the following factors:

  1. What types of businesses in the mall are most important to the tenant?
  2. How and by whom is the termination of a roommate triggered?
  3. What are the rights granted to the tenant in the event of a violation of the joint tenancy? Is it the right to terminate, an alternative rent payment and/or the right to turn a blind eye?

Account Ownership Clauses in Social Media User Agreements

Finally, fashion companies typically enter into social media usage agreements with the employees responsible for managing the company’s social media accounts. It is important to have clarity with these employees, as social media is critical to the fashion company’s advertising, brand recognition, customer service, customer engagement and promotions/contests . To avoid disputes over ownership of social media accounts, account ownership clauses should be included in social media user agreements.

An account ownership clause provides explicit language that accounts ultimately belong to the fashion business. When drafting an account ownership clause, it is important to also consider the following factors:

  1. If, when and how the password of social media accounts can be changed?
  2. Which people in the fashion company should have access to social media account login information at all times?
  3. When terminating an employee of the fashion company, how and when should the transition of social media accounts to the new employee occur?

Considering the answers to these factors will help you craft fashion-friendly business terms that are better suited to your client’s needs and concerns.




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