Socially conscious shopping tips for the Dallas holiday shopper

Armani

While Neiman’s gets a miserable score, gay Giorgio Armani scores a shameful zero

If you’re still holiday shopping and want to make sure your LGBT dollars are going to companies with the best policies for its employees, one place to look is Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.

It’s been out for awhile, but for the holiday shopping season, I’ve pulled out some highlights for local Dallas shoppers.

Department stores

Let’s say you’re looking for something from a local department store. That’s a no brainer, because what’s more gay than Neiman Marcus?

Well, local and gay friendly? J.C. Penney for one. Plano-based J.C. Penney gets a 95. Neiman’s scores a miserable 15. In the 1950s, Jack Evans was once fired from the store because he was gay. They couldn’t do that now or they wouldn’t have a staff, but they also offer few protections and no benefits to their LGBT employees.

So if you’re counting out Neiman’s, what about the rest of NorthPark’s anchors? Macy’s and Nordstrom get 100 percent. Dillards? Not so much. 30.

If you’re shopping at the Galleria, the new Belk gets a failing 15.

Elsewhere in NorthPark

Abercrombie, American Eagle, Gap, Nike and Tiffany rate 100

Kenneth Cole, Ralph Lauren: 90

Aeropostale: 85

H&M: 70

J. Crew: 30

Foot Locker, Donna Karan, Burberry, Guess, Urban Outfitters: 15

Ann Taylor, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Versace, Express, Skechers: These are the ExxonMobils of the mall that offer no protection and no benefits to their LGBT employees. And Versace was gay and so is Armani. I guess just because you’re gay (or built your retail empire on the reputation of someone who was) doesn’t mean you don’t say fuck you to those who work for you or your LGBT customers. If Armani just had a no-cost nondiscrimination statement that included sexual orientation and gender identity, he’d get a 15. Shame on him for not saying, “Of course we won’t fire our gay, lesbian and transgender employees.”

Local chains

What about other local chains? Pier 1 and Radio Shack are both based in Fort Worth. Radio Shack: 30. Pier 1: 15.

Do the Dallas-based The Container Store or Michaels do better? Both rate a pitiful 15.

Strip centers:

Shopping for the lesbian on your list may be easy this year. Home Depot gets a 90, but, across the street, Lowe’s only gets a 30.

Target: 100

Office Depot and Staples: 100 (Office Max: not rated)

Ross: 70

Bed, Bath and Beyond go below: 30.

Big Lots: 15

Dollar stores

Dollar stores aren’t all the same. Family Dollar and Dollar Tree rate just 30, while Dollar General gets a more respectable 70.

Drug stores

Both CVS and Walgreens rank 100.

Groceries

Safeway (which owns Tom Thumb) gets 100.

Kroger rates 85.

Whole Foods could do better with a 75.

Central Market: 40.

Trader Joe’s: 30.

Aldi, Fiesta and my favorite local supermarket Rio Grande: not rated.

—  David Taffet

Former ‘A-List: Dallas’ cast member arrested for theft at NorthPark

Chase Hutchison

The A-List: Dallas may no longer be on TV, but that hasn’t prevented the cast members from gossiping.

Gay Republican Taylor Garrett — known for filing his own police reports — tipped off Dallas Voice that fellow Dallas A-Lister Chase Hutchison was recently caught playing klepto at NorthPark Center.

And, indeed, court records indicate that the gay mortgage broker featured in Logo’s gay reality show was arrested earlier this month for stealing, as his mug shot at right confirms.

Hutchison was seen taking two green scarves valued at $530 each from Barneys New York on Nov. 13 and leaving the store without paying around 8 p.m., according to a Dallas police report.

He was then arrested for a theft of more than $500 but less than $1,500, a class-A misdemeanor. He was released the next day on a $1,000 bond. His first court date is set for Dec. 18.

Hutchison faces up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $4,000.

We know that Garrett was obviously angry with Hutchison for cozying up to cowboy Levi Crocker while the two were trying to reconnect by dating again, though only Garrett thought it was exclusive. But haven’t those bad feelings calmed down by now?

—  Dallasvoice

Spirit Day couture became fashion statement

Yesterday, like a lot of people nationwide, I wore purple in memory of gay teens who have committed suicide recently, many as the result of bullying.

Now, wearing purple is not a biggie for me. I have purple suede Ralph Lauren sneakers and purple Levi’s that I joke came from The Joker’s yard sale. I wear them often, to the chagrin of my plus-ones and co-workers. But last night, it proved to get me more notice than usual.

I attended the opening of the new Montblanc store at NorthPark clad in the sneaks and the jeans, plus a pale green shirt as well as my signature red-and-black Alain Mikli eyeglasses. I was a walking Crayola box.

“You are the most interestingly dressed man at this event,” said a woman I had never met before, a Highland Park Realtor. “You must be a designer or someone deeply involved in fashion.”

“No,” I explained. “Just gay.”

So, for all my friends who criticize my fashion sense I say this: How often have you had someone who can afford couture tell you your off-the-rack wardrobe made you look like a fashion trendsetter? … Hmmm? … Didn’t think so.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Pet lovers unite and shop tonight at Northpark

Just a quick mention that tonight, Lilly Pulitzer at Northpark is hosting a cocktails and shopping event tonight. Now, shopping and drinking might be some of y’all’s weekend hobby but tonight, it’s about the cats and dogs. This party kicks off the SPCA of North Texas’ FurBall in November. Tonight is a sort of the teaser trailer for the big shindig with 10% of sales benefiting the SPCA.

If only I could tell you how this relates to my upcoming lead story this week in the Life+Styles section.

The event starts tonight at 6 p.m. This party must be fancy. The last line of their e-mail said, “We will have a photographer there, but you are welcome to bring your own if you wish.”

—  Rich Lopez