The full text of this Article may be found here.
29 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 477 (2019).
Article by Mary Kate Brennan
Whoever commands the sea commands the trade;
whosoever commands the trade of the world
commands the riches of the world, and consequently
the world itself.
Often an afterthought, the multi-trillion annual maritime transportation industry plays an essential role in driving fashion’s global economic development. Thoughts of ocean transportation in the fashion context should not just invoke images of iconic Louis Vuitton steamer trunks. All stages of production—from transportation of raw materials to delivery of final products—require ocean freight transportation.
The future of fashion is fraught with instability as seismic shifts in the global economy present a series of significant challenges. As consumer habits change, the industry’s stakeholders are searching for innovation and growth potential. Statistical analysis makes clear that the industry must engage in omnichannel retail emphasizing e-commerce. Estimates suggest that luxury e-commerce sales will increase fourfold from 2010 to 2020. Regardless of how goods are sold—whether at a flagship store on Fifth Avenue, a mall in middle America, or with the click of a keyboard—“over 90% of the world’s trade is carried by sea.” In 2015, global seaborne trade surpassed ten billion tons. Rather than only focusing on e-commerce development, fashion brands and retailers must analyze their relationships with the international transportation logistics industry.
*L.L.M., Fashion Law, 2017, Fordham University School of Law; J.D., 2012, Fordham University School of Law; B.A., 2009, College of the Holy Cross. This article is dedicated to my father, Lawrence B. Brennan, J.D., 1977, Fordham University School of Law and adjunct professor of the Admiralty and International Maritime Law course. I am eternally grateful for his unending encouragement, support, and patience. I would also like to thank Professor Susan Scafidi, Peter Arnold, Professor Joseph C. Sweeney, and Professor Jeff Trexler for their mentorship, friendship, invaluable assistance and input in the preparation of this Article.