Ethics, Law, & Style

Superman in Vogue - 2010

Back when I was on the board of directors for the Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art, Vogue co-sponsored a Met exhibit on comics and superheroes. The magazine also published a Mario Testino photo spread featuring Superman and supermodel Carolyn Murphy – the photo above, with Superman fixing a tire, is a playful callback to the character’s first appearance on the cover of Action Comics #1, in which his disposition toward automotive transportation is somewhat more destructive.

The connection between fashion and character – both ethical and fictional – has become particularly prominent in recent years, from ethics policies and CSR campaigns to the emerging role of nonprofit women’s groups in formulating anti-harassment policies in geek culture. It has also been central to my own work as an attorney, legal commentator, and the founding professor of the Fashion Law Institute’s course in Fashion Ethics, Sustainability and Development. Style makes us who we are, whether we’re running a corporation or flying on our own.