Interview: Annie Oti

[ September 14, 2021 by admin 0 Comments ]

Graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University in South-West Nigeria, Annie Oti founded Africa Fashion Law  in order to offer consultancy and training programs for the textile, footwear, jewelry and cosmetic industries in Nigeria in 2017. Annie Oti has been awarded by INFLAA as the ‘’Most Influential Lawyer in Africa 2019.’’

1. This year (2021), you have organized a Mentorship Program, that we were one of the sponsors. Can you explain this Program for our community? What were the outcomes of the Program?

The Global Fashion Law Mentorship Program was created to provide Mentorship, learning resources and internships for law students, lawyers and fashion enthusiasts interested in fashion law. The program lasted for 3 days after which the participants had the opportunity to make internships at different law organizations around the world for a month. The organizations include Aluko & Oyebode in Nigeria, Brand Counsel US and Legal Desire India.

We are looking forward to hosting the second edition next year and having more internship opportunities for our participants as well as expanding the Mentorship program. Let’s stay tuned as it is open to the world, our speakers are from diverse backgrounds and we make it a priority to conduct a comparative analysis of laws from different jurisdictions.

2. As INFLAA, one of our aims is to create a common ground in order for fashion law to become an internationally known field. What do you think is crucial to create that common ground and eventually to make fashion law a world-widely known field?

In order for fashion law to become an internationally known field, fashion lawyers across have to focus on impacting the fashion industry, impacting fashion companies by providing need based legal solutions which would advance the industry and the fashion companies.


3. What is the current state of fashion law in Africa? What do you think is waiting for us in the future of fashion law?

Fashion Law in Nigeria and Africa at large is an emerging area of law; however, the profitability of this area of law is subject to the development of the fashion industry in Nigeria and Africa at large. Like the entertainment industry, the fashion industry is gradually driving towards its potential, however there are loopholes in the fashion value chain which has limited the development of this industry but with time and proper business and legal guidance, the industry will attain its full potential.

The future of fashion law globally is driven by the future of the global fashion industry. As lawyers, it is imperative we provide practical solutions which can help protect and develop businesses in the fashion industry. When the fashion creatives win, we the lawyers win.

4. The crypto economy is starting to have more and more influence on the fashion industry as well as other industries. We witness many brands creating their own NFTs and accepting cryptocurrencies as valid methods of payment. Africa, especially Nigeria, has adapted to the crypto economy very quickly. What do you think about this? What do you think is waiting for us in the future of fashion, NFT and the crypto economy in Africa?

I believe in the future brands will continue adopting NFTs and accepting cryptocurrencies as one of the valid methods of payment. The benefits are numerous, for brands seeking to expand and grow their business, cryptocurrencies pose the perfect investment opportunities for startups and established companies plus there is no worry about exchange rates. Although there are downsides, cryptocurrencies is here to stay and will continue to serve as an effective method of payment.

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