The West Hollywood Fur Ban is Still in Effect

The West Hollywood ban against the sale of apparel containing fur has survived a federal court challenge. As of 2011, West Hollywood became the first city in the U.S. to ban the sale of wearable fur. The ban imposes relatively nominal fines on retailers that don't comply (think: $200 for an initial offense, $400 for a second offense within a year, and $800 for a third offense within a year). The validity of the ban, however, was challenged last year when Los Angeles-based retailer Mayfair House filed a Constitutionally-based lawsuit, alleging that the city overstepped its authority in banning fur apparel sales and that such trade should be regulated by state authorities. Other stores have responded negatively to the ban, moving outside of West Hollywood city limits or closing their shops altogether.

Despite Mayfair House's claims, U.S. District Judge George H. King upheld the City of West Hollywood’s municipal prohibition on the sale of animal fur apparel, ruling that the ban doesn’t illegally discriminate against retailers of new clothing by allowing sales of used fur by private parties and second-hand stores as well as sales of handbags and furniture with fur.

Some of the retailers in West Hollywood that have been affected by the ban, include: Balenciaga, Rag & Bone, Maxfield, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Christian Louboutin, and H Lorenzo - just to name a few. While the ban has largely been hailed a positive move, Mayfair House is obviously not in that camp, and from the sounds of things, Mayfair House isn't giving up. Elizabeth Solomon, a spokeswoman for Mayfair House, told WWD: “It’s not over yet. We are surrounded by home design stores that sell fur chairs and fur rugs. That is where the issue is. Why is this just directed to apparel? Just be fair and apply it across the board.” More to come …