MAN'S BEST FRIEND NEEDS TO LOOK CHIC, TOO: J. Crew may be going to the dogs. According to a research report from CIBC World Markets, the preppy retailer filed a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for Crewmutts, a concept for dogs that potentially could be sold in stores and online. The patent for Crewmutts covers products for dogs, including leashes, clothing, dog beds, shoes, bathing products, blankets, bowls, life jackets, toys and treats. "In our view, the higher-end dog clothing and accessories market seems fragmented, comprised largely of local boutiques. Therefore, this could be an opportunity to take share, both as the stores and online, of a customer who generally may be less price-resistant to decking out their dog," the report said. J. Crew executives could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
STELLA'S WEB: Stella McCartney is dipping her toe into the virtual community of Second Life to stage a peaceful antifur protest. On July 12, the designer and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals will cohost an event on a specially created island in the virtual world. Visitors to the island — which is inspired by the English countryside, complete with stables, picnic tables and a Linda McCartney veggie burger stall — will be able to show their support for PETA in virtual terms. All visitors will receive a selection of antifur accessories for their Second Life character to wear; they can donate money in Linden dollars, the community's currency, which the animal rights group will be able to exchange for real U.S. dollars, and they will be able to dress their character in a T-shirt bearing the slogan "I'd rather be pixilated than wear fur."