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Company Thinks Philbin Looks Like a Million Bucks

May 04, 2000|BOOTH MOORE

Can Regis Philbin save the menswear business from the casual-dress revolution? The Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. hopes so. The apparel manufacturer has licensed the game show dynamo's name for a line of men's dress shirts and ties with a launch planned to coincide with Father's Day.

"Regis is the best example of how guys can make dressing up . . exciting in the year of casual dressing," said Mark Weber, Van Heusen president and chief operating officer.

Several retailers are negotiating for the brand, which is likely to be exclusive to one store, Weber said.

Regis' muted clothes are nearly identical to those worn by the host of Britain's original "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." I guess you don't have to invent something to capitalize on it. But ABC already knew that.

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Anyone who lives with cats knows it's impossible to get anything done on a computer without furry friends jumping on the keyboard to help. So why shouldn't cats have their own Web site?

They do. At http://www.meowmail.com, techno-cats can view "digital toys," including a parrot that chirps, "Here, kitty, kitty," and a mouse that scurries around the screen, and can e-mail their pals (with a hand from their two-legged assistants).

Now cats can feel superior to humans in the virtual world too.

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In other furry news. . . . A San Francisco-based animal-rights group is campaigning to ban the word "owner" as a description for people who have pets. (It suggests "guardian" instead.)

In Defense of Animals founder Elliott Katz, a former veterinarian, believes "owner" is offensive.

"I know firsthand the mind-set people have when they think of animals as pieces of property, rather than members of the family," he said. "I saw during my practice so many animals killed by their owners just because they were a nuisance." (For information, contact http://www.idausa.org.)

I'm against torture in any form, whether it's inflicted on animals or language.

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Speaking of political correctness. . . . Mode magazine fashion director Michele Weston, in L.A. this week to promote her new book, "Learning Curves: Living Your Life in Full and With Style" (Crown Publishing, $24), chastises those who use the term "plus size" to describe larger females. "Curvy women" is the acceptable term, she said.

(The fact that she has the word "curves" in her book title probably has nothing to do with it.)

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The Screen Actors Guild strike against the advertising industry has put a struggling actor friend of mine in a strange position: Many performers wait tables to make money when they are between gigs, but she works as a media planner at an ad agency on Wilshire Boulevard.

The office has been a target for SAG strikers, and my friend has found herself having to cross their picket lines to get to work.

"When I walked by, the [news] camera was right on me," she said. "It's a good thing nobody knows who I am!"

An actor who's happy she's not famous? How weird is that?

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Booth Moore can be reached at booth.moore@latimes.com.

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