West Hollywood Mulling Ban on Fur Sales

Blazer with Fur Collar by Brochu Walker ArcadeBoutique
Going, going, gone! A fur-collared Brochu Walker blazer sold at Arcade would violate the proposed ban.

The fur is gonna fly!

West Hollywood is poised to become the first U.S. city to ban the sale of fur products, Women's Wear Daily reports.

Home to boutiques like Balenciaga, Chanel, and 3.1 Phillip Lim, the town's city council voted unanimously on an ordinance that would prohibit the sale of clothing that features animal pelts or skin without fur or hair.

While California already has protections in place against the sale of python skin, West Hollywood—which covers Melrose Avenue, Robertson Boulevard, and Sunset Boulevard—has gone a step further in the support of animal rights by banning the declawing of cats as well as the sale of dogs from so-called “puppy mills.”

Now, the fashion sector is bracing itself for what could be a major blow to business. A recent economic study from The Fur Information Council of America, which says it would consider a lawsuit should the ban go through, found that 46 percent of area retailers sell fur products.

“It is a problem for us because we have [fur] stuff that we have already bought in the store, and we have stuff that we have bought for next season and the season after,” Andrew Dryden, creative director of the men’s and women’s fashion retailer H Lorenz, tells WWD. “I don’t see us complying anytime soon.”

“Fur items are amongst our bestsellers each fall season,” adds Arcade store director Lindsay Lebby. "Our clients come to Arcade specifically to buy fur. It is a very important category for us. We strongly disagree with the city council’s ban on the sales of fur apparel.”

A second reading of the ordinance must be approved before it takes effect, with a meeting set for October 3 to determine penalties for violating the ban and considerations for vintage shops, charity auctions, and garage sales. If approved, the ban would begin on June 30 (allowing time for shops to clear their winter stock), with limitations on fox, rabbit, mink, seal, chinchilla, bear, and sheep fur, though leather and wool apparel gets the green light.

Stay tuned for more developments.

Meanwhile, Elisabetta Canalis is stripping down to oppose the use of fur.