Interview with shoe designer Ruthie Davis

Ahead of the Luxury Law New York Summit we caught up with one of our speakers, shoe designer Ruthie Davis to ask her what she felt was the one single factor that would provide increased opportunities for the luxury sector, if luxury brands would be better or more poorly protected in five years and what is the most common legal challenge for eponymous fashion brands.


LLS: If you had to name one single factor, which will provide increased opportunities for the luxury sector over the next five years, what would it be?

RD: Strategic brand collaborations that bring newness to luxury labels by creating special, unique, limited run, highly curated products with multiple brand visibility. For example, Moncler X Palm Angels, Vetements X Reebok, Uniqlo X JW Anderson or Disney X Ruthie Davis. This concept also translates to retail as experiential retail is now including multi-brand pop ups where brands team up to maximize a store’s visibility on social media and to draw more customers.

LLS: Considering design rights and copyright issues – do you think that luxury brands will be better or more poorly protected in five years’ time than they are now?

RD: I think they will be better protected, not necessarily by the courts but by the public sector. Already, social media is policing knock offs. Instagram accounts like @diet_prada call out people who copy others so you risk this public shame if you copy designs. And I’m not just speaking about the high street knocking off luxury designer labels, I’m also talking about the luxury labels copying the smaller independent brands

LLS: For eponymous fashion brands, what is the most common legal challenge?

RD: If you are an eponymous brand, the way to keep your name fresh and valid in an ever-changing marketplace is to put your name on brand extending products. This can mean licensing your name, collaborating with other brands, getting your brand on celebrities or getting into new businesses such as retail. You have to constantly keep the name valid and exciting and all of these efforts require contracts. This can get overwhelming and expensive to ensure you’re protecting your name and maximizing your potential.

At the Luxury Law New York Summit Ruthie will discuss how to master the art of strategic brand collaborating.