Hats off to Irving Joel, who's sending a batch of new head wear to Mikhail Gorbachev in the Kremlin. Joel, president of Resistol Hats, Texas, and AJD Cap Co., Va., watched Gorbachev on TV and was thrilled to see him wearing any kind of hat at all. ("Reagan should wear them too if he doesn't want to catch cold," Joel says.) But the Russian leader's hats weren't exactly Joel's idea of heaven. "Gorbachev's suits were well-tailored and they fit him fine but his hats looked like hell," Joel tells Listen. The shipment, he hopes, will put Gorbachev's head in the same chic shape as the rest of him. "I'm sending some white and black Western cowboy styles (including the one President Reagan wears at his ranch) and the one that Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry always wears. And some Chicago Bears caps, because they're the hottest item we have since the Bears beat Dallas 44 to nothing. We hear that bears are big in Russia. And I'm sending a variety of other dress and sport types. Right now, our experts are deciding how wide the brims and how high the crowns should be, so that they'll look exactly right on Gorbachev." How does Joel know Gorbachev's size? "The Russian Embassy is giving us that information. The CIA probably knows already, but we don't think they'd tell us." Joel's pretty certain, from watching Gorbachev on TV, that the size is 7 1/2. Joel, whose various companies make the Dobbs, Churchill, Cavanaugh and Resistol brands, says his "ultimate goal" is to see all world leaders wearing elegant hats. "Ike wore them, and he looked great," Joel explained, but "John Kennedy didn't wear them and he killed the hat business."
Punk has gone to Barry Manilow's head. The pop-music maker has pruned his shoulder-length locks for his acting debut in the upcoming ABC-TV movie "Copacabana," which takes place in the 1940s and will air Dec. 6. Beverly Hills "locksmith" Dusty Fleming gave Manilow's mane the new shear, and the singer liked it so much he called on Dusty again for an even shorter, spiky haircut. Manilow tells Listen: "Now all I have to do is catch up with my hair. I'm still hopelessly lost somewhere in the late '60s."
Tomorrow marks the kickoff of the May Co.'s annual holiday food drive for LIFE (the initials stand for Love Is Feeding Everyone). And if you contribute a package of non-perishable food at your nearest May Co. store from 1-2 p.m., you'll come home with a complimentary instant photo of yourself and perhaps your favorite star. Linda Evans will be at Laurel Plaza, LIFE's president Dennis Weaver will be at South Coast Plaza, Maude Adams will be at South Bay and LIFE co-founder Valerie Harper, along with Eve Arden and Jean Stapleton, will appear in the West Los Angeles May Co. store. The organization, started three years ago by Harper and Weaver, distributed 10 tons of food last year to needy families in Los Angeles. And everyone's hoping to top that figure this time around. You can contribute any day from Saturday through Dec. 20 at any May Co. store.
Now the cosmetics and fragrance industries are banding together to fight AIDS. And they're asking for help from Hollywood. A steering committee is forming to plan a first benefit, "COS-A.I.D.S.," to take place in April in New York. So far the organizing committee consists of Ronn Charles of Parfums Van Cleef & Arpels, Richard Lindstrom, president of the International Cosmetics and Fragrance Distributors, and Michael Paulle, vice president of Synarome Corp. of America, a French fragrance manufacturer. Paulle tells Listen: "We're looking for support from stars who have done fragrance ads, people like Jane Seymour, Catherine Deneuve, Stefanie Powers, Joan Collins and Linda Evans."
Louis Dell'Olio has been soaping his spring designs for Anne Klein. The designer just completed shooting several episodes of NBC-TV's "Search for Tomorrow," in which he plays himself, caught in the middle of a cat fight between Estelle and Liza, two of the soap's lead shrews. The episodes, which include film clips from Dell'Olio's spring fashion show, will air between Monday and Dec. 16. Listen asked Louis if he'd give up Seventh Avenue for stardom. "No way. I hated memorizing lines," Dell'Olio said.
The boot goes on: Coty Award-winning designer Gil Truedsson has been named spokesperson for the Western Boot Council of America and will be in town Wednesday and Thursday to do television interviews a-boot you know what. How did Truedsson get his foot in it this time? "The Western Council heard I was a kind of aficionado on the subject, so they sought me out," says Truedsson, who keeps one foot in fashion and the other in a horse farm in Connecticut. Truedsson also tells Listen the council was impressed to learn he accepted his 1979 Coty Award wearing a pair of black lizard boots below his tux. He says he also has three other pairs in his closet: an alligator pair, an African anteater pair and a rough-out cowhide pair for horsing around.