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10 Questions For: Sumaiya De’Mar
A forerunner in the South African fashion law industry, fashion lawyer Sumaiya De’Mar helps designers protect their brands and businesses. Fashion law is a specialised area of law that covers issues relating to the business of fashion from conception to brand protection. Extending to other related areas such as public relations, modelling and photography, the field of fashion law is continually growing and is fast becoming a necessary industry in our country.
1. How would you describe what you do for a living?
Fashion law is a fairly new field of law that is developing internationally. At the heart lies intellectual property law (trademarks, copyright, patent and design law). By combining my two passions, law and fashion, my aim is to pioneer fashion law in South Africa to help designers protect their businesses. I do this by offering a bespoke service which includes consulting, drafting legal contracts, registering designs, etc. I have also recently started hosting fashion law seminars for emerging entrepreneurs. Fashion law also extends to related industries such as photography, music, art, and the like.
2. What is your most vivid childhood memory?
From a young age I can remember being fascinated by fashion in magazines and films, and just going to fashion shows with my mother. I have always loved the idea that fashion is art and taught myself to release my creativity through design.
3. If you could invite any three people, dead or alive, for dinner, who would they be and why?
1. Coco Chanel – I would love to have this legendary designer impart some of her pearls of wisdom to me over a glamorous cocktail dinner.
2. Oscar Wilde – To delve into the mind of this literary genius, I think we would have a brilliant conversation.
3. Maya Angelou – It would be an honour to have dinner with one of the most inspirational women that ever lived.
4. If you ever found yourself auditioning for a music reality TV show, what song would you sing and why?
It would have to be ‘I Love Rock n Roll’ by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. It’s a classic, edgy song that gives you that rock star attitude no matter what mood you’re in (it was also the very first song I ever sang at karaoke!).
5. How would you complete this sentence? The South African cabinet should include a Minister of_________________________________.
I will have to be diplomatic and exercise my right to silence on this one. However, if I had to give an answer, in my opinion it wouldn’t hurt to have a Minister of Race Relations. Just a suggestion.
6. What would you say is the biggest misconception about you?
That being a lawyer is boring or unexciting. It couldn’t be further from the truth. The challenges of law coupled with the glamour of fashion makes for a very interesting career.
7. What is your (honest) opinion of Cape Town?
I am in love with Cape Town. This cosmopolitan hub is a city like no other, rich in culture and diverse in population. Cape Town’s glorious mountains and picturesque beaches are one of a kind.
8. What's the greatest fear you've had to overcome to get where you are today?
I’ve had to overcome the fear of public speaking in order to be in the public eye and run my fashion law seminars. I have embraced the maxim ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ and that has served me.
9. What's the one thing you'd like to achieve before you die?
To leave behind a legacy that revolutionises the fashion industry.
10. Which well-known South African personality would you, without a doubt, be able to beat in a street fight and why?
Since I am a lady, I have henchmen to do such things! (Just joking!)
Photo Credit: EBEN Photography
CapeTownMagazine.com’s 10 Questions project gets to know some of the Mother City’s most creative and inspiring people. From television personalities and musicians to politicians and entrepreneurs, we find out more about well-known and up-and-coming Capetonians. You can follow #CTMag10Q on Twitter and Facebook to track recent interviews or read more here about our other awesome 10 Questions candidates.
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