María Juliana Marín Villarreal is fashion lawyer, speaker and founder of Fashionamista / Fashion Law Columbia. Marín completed her PHD in Commercial Law at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and Fashion & Luxury Marketing and Communication studies at University of Madrid. Currently she is giving lectures on fashion law at LCI Bogota and she works as fashion law consultant in Colombia. María Juliana Marín Villarreal has been awarded by INFLAA as the ”Most Influential Lawyer in Colombia 2019.”
1.As we all know, the pandemic affected all industries. We, as the INFLAA, could not organize our annual summit last year due to the pandemic. The last time we met each other was in 2019 at the Fashion Law and Business Summit in Istanbul. At this summit, you shared the current state of fashion law in your country with us. What has changed since then? What are the latest developments in fashion law in your country?
Definitely, the perspective of fashion law in Colombia since the pandemic has changed and the panorama we saw in 2019 is now different. This situation brought challenges for the national fashion industry, just like what happened around the world. However, these challenges were accompanied by resilience and a lot of creativity. In Colombia, although the economy was impacted and many jobs were lost, many people also decided to create a company, many adapted to the new reality and new consumer needs. Forced digitization was an advance that many were putting off and had to make the decision, omnichannel is a reality.
The fashion industry was shown to be strong and able to survive, there was a lot of teamwork, a lot of collaborations and support for local fashion. The consumption of national brands increased. On the other hand, fashion law also withstood the crisis, we continued working to reach more people and virtuality allowed us to reach places where we had not reached before. More and more people are interested in learning and working in this area.
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?
I think it’s important to continue making alliances, working as a team we can reach more people. Spaces such as international meetings and the different projects that have been carried out with the INFLAA team allow us to strengthen ourselves further. We should take more advantage of the virtuality and the ease of being able to keep in touch, share ideas and create more content and information for those who don’t yet know the fashion law.
3.What do you think is waiting for us in the future of fashion law?
I’m very optimistic and I feel that we’re growing, more and more of us are interested in this discipline.
Fashion law cases will continue to exist and the new dynamics motivate us to be updated and constantly adapt our practice to the new needs of the fashion industry.
4.Which fashion law case has influenced you the most, so far?
It’s difficult to choose a single case, but I believe that due to the reality of Colombia and Latin America, cases related to cultural appropriation have influenced my work. It is an uncomfortable reality but one that we cannot hide and that fashion law still has a lot to do.
On the other hand, the regulation of influencers in other countries has been important for my work in fashion law and thanks to this comparative law work, currently in Colombia there are some regulations to control the advertising made by these people.