Varese and Mazza ‘The Protection of Fashion Shows: An Uncharted Stage’

The history of fashion shows goes back more than a century, and over the years, catwalks have gone from being private sales channels for a few wealthy customers to pure entertainment shows promoted globally. In this article, we analyze both national and international laws dealing with the protection of fashion shows in order to establish how fashion shows could be protected under intellectual property laws in Italy, with specific regard to copyright. The possibility for fashion shows to access copyright protection opens up a list of interesting questions: Who is the author of the work? Are models to be considered as performers? This scenario gets even more complicated if we consider how fashion shows have been changing in the last few years, turning to new technologies such as holograms, augmented reality, and drones. Further, copyright protection could be accompanied by further tools, such as registered or unregistered designs for the single elements of a scene and choreography or unfair competition if the general look and feel of a former fashion show has been slavishly imitated. A final section of this article is dedicated to the use of cultural heritage and historical museums, which are increasingly chosen by fashion houses for the settings of their shows.

Elena Varese and Valentina Mazza, The Protection of Fashion Shows: An Uncharted Stage, Laws 2019, 8(4), 29; Received: 27 August 2019 / Revised: 31 October 2019 / Accepted: 12 November 2019 / Published: 17 November 2019.

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