London luxury law firm in London Crefovi explores the legal discipline that is the law of luxury goods. The emergence of the law of luxury goods and fashion: a new legal practice in full expansion. Consult our thematic supplement Revue Lamy Droit des Affaires, on the law of luxury goods, here.
The emergence of the law of luxury goods and fashion law: a new booming legal sector.
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Luxury is a concept that makes you dream, that evokes exquisitely crafted objects, bewitching smells and flavors, services rendered with unfailing zeal and speed. Luxury, or ‟luxus” in Latin (abundance, refinement), is the pinnacle of consumer society, the pinnacle of the materialistic world, sometimes close to lust (‟luxuria”) but always radiating an incandescent light (‟lux”).
The law, in comparison, is an austere and rigorous notion, defined as a set of rules governing life in society and sanctioned by the public authorities. The law brings and calls to order, establishes a wise balance between equity and the material and moral interests of society. It is, moreover, a prerogative attributed to an individual, in his or her interest, allowing him or her to enjoy a thing or a value or to demand a service from others.
Why combine in the title of this thematic supplement these two terms which are so opposed, in antithesis to each other? Why attract these opposites, marry them to give birth to a new concept?
There is a tendency in contemporary law to develop new legal branches according to industrial, cultural or artistic sectors in expansion or having a significant economic weight in the French gross national product (‟GNP”) such as the law of cinema (cf., for example, , Gaz. Pal. 11 to 13 May 2003, ‟Cinema Law”) or, again, sports law (cf. the project to create a sports code announced at the end of 2003 by the minister of sports). Thus, by sorting the standards of public law and/or private law according to the needs and parameters of a given industrial or cultural sector, it is possible to create a legal framework adapted to its specificities.
The luxury sector has already been studied from a marketing perspective (cf. Allérès D., ‟Luxe… marketing strategies”, 2nd ed., Economica, 2003; Haie V., ‟Give us our daily luxury”, ‟Institut Supérieur de Marketing du Luxe”, Gualino Editeur, 2002), sociology (cf. Castarède J., ‟Le luxe”, ‟Que Sais-je?” publishing, PUF, 3rd ed., 2003; Prévost G., ‟Voyage au pays du luxe”, Le rire midi, 2001; Richou S. and Lombard M., ‟Luxury in all its states”, Economica, 1999), sales and management (cf. Blanckaert C., ‟Les chemins du luxe”, edition Grasset, 1996) but, on the other hand, it has never yet been so under the law applicable to it. However, the knowledge and mastery of business law by luxury professionals is essential for luxury houses to create, develop, adapt, prosper or survive. Even if the creators and artistic directors might think that only their genius and their creativity will bring the company to the firmament, the importance of a clear commercial and financial strategy, inseparable from the various legal and financial techniques offered by business law, now seems unavoidable.
If the market shares of the luxury sector, a primordial economic force for France, were held, until the 1990s, by French brands, they are however today in constant reduction, conquered by the Italian, German, American or Japanese competitors. Also, French luxury houses could not do without the advanced intellectual, economic and legal tools necessary for the adoption of a strategy that is both defensive and offensive in this extremely competitive sector, tools that this supplement proposes to present and analyze.