Merchants Say West Hollywood’s Fur Ban Doesn’t Fit High-fashion Image

Get Variety News and alerts free to your inbox Though its long been known as an emblem of Hollywood wealth and glamour, in recent decades it has come to represent America itself for millions, especially around the Pacific Rim. They see (the Hollywood sign) in television, they see it in movies, and they see it as representative of the advertising of the American dream, says Hollywood Sign Trust chairman Chris Baumgart. Its the allure of opportunity. Specifically, its the opportunity to make it in the entertainment business. But big picture, thats the hope and dream that America represents. The sign is fenced off and under 24-hour surveillance, so its illegal to get within arms length. Yet tourists make the climb anyway. Hope Anderson, who directed the documentary Under the Hollywood Sign, says, Theres this feeling that if you get close to the sign, and preferably can touch it, that some kind of magic will be imparted to you. Anderson, who was born in Hong Kong, grew up in Japan, and studied Japanese history at UC Berkeley, says: Its almost become this religious icon and people feel that if they touch the Hollywood icon theyll be the star that they know themselves to be. Theyre often disappointed to be kept at bay, but as Baumgart says: Isnt that what dreams are all about? Just out of reach. Producer Luo Yan, a former movie star in China who moved from Shanghai to the U.S. in the mid-1980s and now splits her time between Beijing and L.A., observes the signs location adds to its mystique. Because its on a mountain, it means on top of the world, Luo says. Its everything about America, not just Hollywood. Even showbiz vets feel the signs allure.

Ellen DeGeneres Named ‘Most Likable Woman in Hollywood’ To No One’s Surprise

If you’ve ever tuned into “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” this news will come as no real surprise to you. The loveable goof, who’s been a small screen fixture for a couple decades now, seems to rub everyone the right way. Now, a survey from iHeartRadio has the numbers to back that up. The digital radio site asked its listeners to rate their ” Most Likeable Woman in Hollywood ” and, you guessed it, Ellen landed on top with a whopping 35.1 percent. Jennifer Lawrence, another adorkable star, had nearly half as many votes: 17.7 percent. Emma Stone landed in third place with 13.4 percent of the votes and Anna Kendrick rounded up the list in 7th place with 2.6 percent. Head over to iHeartRadio.com to see if your favorite leading lady made the list. P.S. — Not convinced Ellen’s a worthy choice? We give you: Also on HuffPost:

WeHo ban on exotic animal displays comes after rowdy meeting

Although some residents praise the city’s socially conscious stand on fur, the ban has angered many business owners. Retailers with multiple locations are busily moving fur products to stores outside West Hollywood. Independent boutiques, such as Darrel Adams’ Kin store on Sunset Boulevard, are seeing if suppliers will take back some of the fall fur coats on order. Furs make up a small fraction of Adams’ collections but are among the priciest items. “The furs are sometimes the most expensive pieces in the collection, so it affects sales dramatically, especially if you sell it at a larger percentage,” he said. “To cut off someone’s big-ticket item makes it hard for a business to survive.” Darren Gold, chairman of the board of the West Hollywood Design District, said the city has worked hard to establish itself as a premier fashion destination, attracting a collection of both established luxury brands and independent designers. The ban, he said, is a slap in the face. “It’s detrimental to our image as a West Coast fashion capital and could prevent fashion houses from choosing West Hollywood,” Gold said. Despite its politically incorrect connotations, fur continues to be a mainstay on the catwalk. International fur sales were at $15.6 billion last year, including $1.3 billion nationally, said Keith Kaplan, executive director of the Fur Information Council of America, a fur industry trade group. The organization, headquartered in West Hollywood, is considering a lawsuit to block the ban. Genevieve Morrill, president and chief executive of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, has received numerous calls in recent days from retailers confused about what they can and cannot sell.