Mariessa Terrell
Mariessa Terrell
Intellectual Property Attorney / Fashion Investigator



DC Fashion Commissioner Mariessa Terrell is a native Washingtonian who has been practicing law for over 16 years, specializing in trademark, trademark enforcement, licensing and contracts.  Through her firm, Innovation PI Law (formerly SBC Law Group), Mariessa provides marketing, intellectual property docketing services, software licensing and intellectual property law services to a variety of corporate and business development clients, including: Lockheed Martin Corporation Information Systems and Global Services; Leidos Corporation, the University of the District of Columbia; the Washington Baptist Seminary; Global Villages Publishing, Raine Magazine; Gloria Gelfand Marketing Co. and many others.

Prior to starting her own firm in 2003, Mariessa served as a trademark attorney for the US Patent and Trademark Office where she prosecuted trademarks for leaders in the publishing, fashion and beauty industries. Mariessa also served as a law Clerk for the Honorable Judge Cheryl Long, who presided over the Tax Division of the Superior Court of District of Columbia.

In 2004, Mariessa created, a special division of her firm dedicated to addressing the unique needs of fashion purveyors.  

In 2006, Mariessa drafted legislation to create a DC Commission on Fashion Arts and Events; and in 2013, Mayor Vincent Gray appointed Mariessa to serve as a DC Fashion Commissioner. In 2018, Mayor Muriel Bowser reappointed Mariessa to serve an additional 4 years.  

In 2015, Mariessa assumed the role of Adjunct Professor & Supervising Attorney of the Howard University School of Law Intellectual Property Law Clinic.  

In October 2017, Mariessa was retained by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. to help manage their trademark portfolio and oversee IP enforcement.

In addition to practicing law, Mariessa serves as the Executive Director of the High Tea Society, a mentoring program for girls in Washington, DC and produces and hosts a 30 min episodic television series featuring her alter ego Simone Butterfly Fabulous Freelance Fashion Investigator.   




I believe that FASHION is innovation in a variety of fields, including, apparel, footwear, cuisine, beauty, interior design, arts, entertainment, automobile engineering, mobile device development, music, software design, etc. Fashion is the dialogue among the creative industries that proposes innovations and the consumers who decide what to adopt or reject. Since 2003, I have worked to use intellectual property laws to protect FASHION!




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Yoo Hoo Darling!

Simone Butterfly: Fabulous, Freelance, Fashion Investigator is a fictional character created by Fashion Attorney Mariessa Terrell in 2003.  

Simone Butterfly first made her appearance as a pseudonym for Mariessa when she was a fashion columnist for the Afro American Newspaper, Washington Informer and Washington's Finest (2003-2006). Simone reappeared when Mariessa began writing a delightful bi-monthly fashion blog entitled Yoo Hoo Darling featured on Fox 5 WTTG and Social Sightings (2007-2011) and (2006-present). From 2012 to 2014, Simone began making regular appearances as a DC fashion sleuth featured in a monthly fashion column published in the Midcity Newspaper.  From 2016-2017, Simone made her TV debut when she appeared alongside Mariessa in the 12 episode DCN series, Simone Butterfly Fashion Investigator.  

Today, Simone Butterfly lives a lush life in a series of Yoo Hoo Darling blog posts, loosely based on short stories by Langston Hughes featuring the "every man" Jesse B. Semple.  Simone Butterfly Fabulous Freelance Fashion Investigator is truly Mariessa Terrell's most intimate and trusted friend.  Visit Simone Butterfly HERE.