Profile - Staci Jennifer Riordan
Fourth Generation Fashion: A Profile in Experience
Companies in the fashion industry are routinely confronted with numerous legal challenges that can affect the company’s products, business operations and profitability. In an industry as competitive as fashion, there is no substitute for experience, involvement and commitment. With 18 offices coast to coast, Fox Rothschild is well positioned to serve the legal needs of fashion companies.
Growing up in the fashion industry offers a lifetime of experience that can't be matched. Fox Rothschild's Fashion Law Practice Chair Staci Jennifer Riordan has spent most of her life in the fashion industry – and her experience has not only helped her succeed, but it has also helped many of her clients' businesses thrive in a challenging industry.
Descended from a long line of garment makers, retailers and wholesalers, Staci knew how to sew by the time she was five. By the age of 13, Staci's mother – a designer and retailer – was taking Staci with her when shopping for her store. By the time Staci finished college, she knew she wanted to be a lawyer, but chose to make her way to California to once again join her mother who had by then started a new life and a new manufacturing business.
“When I joined her, she and her partner were just getting started – and within three days of my arrival, we had a full-store buyout order from one of the largest clothing chains in the business," Staci remembers. "We couldn't accept it – we were too small at the time – but we were able to take a much smaller order and the business was off and running."
The company quickly grew from a startup to a $7 to $10 million business in less than two years, which sparked interest from the fashion industry all over the world. The partners designed the line and Staci made sure it was produced on time, on budget and properly shipped to the right customer.
"As things often do in this industry, the partnership dissolved, and I headed out on my own," said Staci. She spent the next few years earning a reputation as a savvy fashion leader while handling issues such as branding, sales, hiring, production, operations, supply chain and imports for a variety of apparel and textile companies.
Staci's success enabled her to share her experience and she took a position as a professor at Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. But her childhood dream drew her to law school.
“I always wanted to be an attorney, and after spending eight years running fashion companies, I knew there was a need for lawyers who understood the ins and outs of the fashion industry.”
When told there was no such thing as “Fashion Law,” Staci, undeterred, went to law school intent on creating it.
Fast forward to the present, Staci currently runs the ever-growing Fashion Law Practice at Fox Rothschild and works with attorneys across multiple offices and various practices to meet and exceed the demanding needs of the fashion industry.
The Fashion Law attorneys represent clients in a wide array of matters, including business formation and structuring; factoring and finance planning and agreements; import, export and custom matters; joint ventures, franchises and other strategic relationships; labor and employment matters; leasing of retail space, warehouses, showrooms and other facilities; licensing and endorsement agreements; fashion mergers and acquisitions; venture capital; stock and equity transactions; intellectual property registration and enforcement.
“We all have different core skills, but each of us shares a deep understanding of the business of fashion.”
Staci’s practice focuses on brand extension, fashion licensing, intellectual property and business litigation as well as strategic planning and client counseling. Her clients include designers, manufacturers, retailers, importers, exporters, entertainment entities and business proprietors.
As fashion and entertainment law go hand in hand, Staci also works with the firm’s Entertainment Law Department to counsel industry professionals on ways to engage their audience by developing multiple streams of revenue in areas such as fashion, digital media, licensing, sponsorship and merchandising.
"I'm a business person first and an attorney second. I do what I do because I love it – and that connects me to my clients."
To maintain this connection to clients, Staci regularly speaks and writes on issues affecting fashion businesses and maintains the firm’s popular Fashion Law Blog.
Staci is also highly active in the fashion community, serving on the boards of the California Fashion Association; Fashion Group International; Apparel Industries Group for the City of Hope; and the UCLA Extension, Business of Creativity, Advisory Council. Staci is also a member of The Professionals Club, the International Textile and Apparel Association, the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, the Beverly Hills Barristers and the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
As a testament to her experience, Staci was tapped to instruct the inaugural course of Loyola Law School’s newly formed fashion law program that will begin January 2013.
As any apparel company knows, in fashion, it's all about the fit. Staci Riordan and Fox Rothschild's Fashion Law Practice has the experience, innovation and creativity to be a perfect fit with your business and provide the practical counsel that can only come from industry insiders.
Learn more about Staci.