ORANGE COUNTY — Jason Baker, a campaign coordinator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, flew in from Norfolk, Va., over the weekend to direct an anti-fur protest in Dana Point, only to find someone else had already drawn first blood.
An unidentified protester slipped Sunday night into a Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel reception for an annual gathering of fashion moguls and doused Gucci designer Tom Ford with tomato juice.
"She kind of showed us up," Baker said Monday. "We were just tickled pink."
On Monday, three local PETA activists--each wearing a donated fur coat--spent an hour in makeshift cages outside the hotel, hoping to draw attention during the Apparel Retail CEO Summit to what they see as inhumane treatment of animals.
"We want people to look at people in cages and realize that animals are suffering like that," Baker said.
The conference was organized by Fairchild Publications, publisher of Women's Wear Daily and other fashion magazines. Fairchild officials in New York could not be reached for comment. Passerby Jason Norton, 22, wasn't impressed by the cage demonstration. "I think they're ridiculous," Norton said. "I wear fur. I wear leather. I eat meat. I'm a carnivore."