West Hollywood To Fur Buyers: You Could Be Banned

Milan Fashion Week Model Runway Fur - H 2011
Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Model Runway Fur - H 2011

The municipality of West Hollywood's five member City Council are voting to approve a ban on the sales of fur coats and clothes. The luxury boutiques of Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang, Marni and Carolina Herrera on or near Melrose Place will all be affected.

Last week, PETA raised a ruckus about Reese Witherspoon spotted carrying a python skinned bag -- banned in the state of California -- and after it went viral, Reese promptly retired it and apologzied. But animal rights activists in West Hollywood are thisclose to a new triump: on November 8: WeHo's leaders tentatively approved the first-in-the-nation ban on the sale of fur clothing. Pending a second and final vote, the ordinance will be passed. 

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Of the five member city council, three voted for the ban, one against and there was one abstention. The ban was brought up initially on September 20. Of course, it got stiff opposition by the local Chamber of Commerce and the fur industry; its Fur Information Council of America is actually based in West Hollywood. You can imagine how it's sitting with them. 

Those who oppose the ordinance say nearly half of the 200 apparel stores in town sell at least some fur items, and that merchandise made with animal pelts is estimated to account for up to $2 million in revenues each year. But the City Council was obviously more affected by animal activists' description of how inhumanely animals are killed for their pelts.

But the measure would not go into effect till September 21, 2013 instead of originally planned June 30, 2012. It's not clear if this measure covers coats that have just fur trim or fur collars or fur hems. Most of the stores in L.A. which sell fur are located in Beverly Hills. But how this will affect Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs and Carolina Herrera stores, all near Melrose Place - and Fred Segal on Melrose and Crescent Heights - will be interesting to observe. Will we find some designers moving shops to other parts of town? That could be the fallout.