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Strathmore Law School holds Fashion Counsel Week

Sarah Ochwada during the Fashion Counsil Week

Her passion in law has enabled the retired runway queen to share her experience in the entertainment industry and her knowledge of law with those in the beauty industry. Sarah Ochwada, a sports and entertainment lawyer, engaged her audience at the Beauty Law Bureau masterclass at the Strathmore Law School (SLS). This session was one among many that were held during the “Fashion week Counsel”, an event aimed at building capacity for those in the Kenyan fashion and beauty industry.

First African woman to hold LLM in International Sports Law

Going by the handle, @snolegal on Twitter, Sarah, an adjunct lecturer at SLS, uses innovative lawyering and advocacy for the protection and promotion of African Sport, Talent, Culture and Enterprise. Apart from the fashion counsel week, she has been running a sports and entertainment executive legal course at SLS, that incuded topics such as E-Sports & Gaming. She is the first African woman to hold an LLM in International Sports Law. She has worked as a lawyer at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) based in Switzerland and is Legal Counsel for the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK).

Her portfolio also includes her appointment as an Arbitrator at Athletics Kenya and as a panel member for the Cricket Kenya Independent Committee. 

Are you protecting your own?

During the sessions, Sarah shared that those in the fashion and beauty industry need to protect their brands and trademarks. She emphasized that a brand is “the name people know you by” while a Trademark is a symbol or word (s) “legally registered” for a product or company.

Responding to a question from Alice Nyambura, an alumna of Strathmore University Business School (SBS), Sarah stated that written and signed agreements are vital, specifically the “Confidentiality agreement”.  It’s important to protect that which one has worked for. She also said “Fashion Espionage”, the practice of spying or of using spies to obtain information from competitors, is a challenge facing the industry. Sharing a clip from the movie Duplicity starring Julia Roberts and Clive Owen, she mentioned that it’s important that employees understand the aftermath of espionage acts.

Participants at the fashion counsel week had several other sessions on such topics as: Contracts for makeup artists & digital influencers/creators; beauty pageant franchises, models’ labour rights, modelling & agency contracts; copyright & trademarks for textile, apparel, and jewelry designs.


This article was written by Annete Karanja. 

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