A big milestone in the melding of fashion and law took place in New York on Monday. Susan Scafidi, the director of Fordham University’s Fashion Law Institute and a pioneer in establishing this field of study, along with Diane von Furstenberg and Fordham Provost Stephen Freedman, announced the launch of two academic degree programs in fashion law — the first not only at Fordham, but in the world.

Those who already have a general law degree can apply now for the Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Fashion Law program, which starts in the fall. It will include courses on topics like fashion financing, fashion modeling law, fashion licensing and sustainability.

Perhaps even more significantly, Fordham is also offering a degree program for non-lawyers, called a Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.), designed for industry professionals who want to learn more about laws pertaining to fashion and retail. “We’ve all heard that ignorance of the law is no defense, but law schools have done everything they can to make sure that everyone but lawyers are ignorant of the law,” Scafidi said at a press conference Monday morning. “It’s time in a new era of transparency to open that up and to allow people to have the legal knowledge they need to make important business decisions.” Both programs are available on a part-time or full-time basis. Students can matriculate in the fall or spring and if taken full-time, the programs take two semesters to complete.

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Story Cred: Fashionista.com

Photo Cred:Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage