The phones at Suzanne Juul's Beverly Hills offices have been ringing a lot over the last couple of weeks, ever since the designer's circular scarves, called "eternity shawls," appeared on the neck of teenage media sensation Mary-Kate Olsen.


"I am eccentric and I take risks. I walk about Beverly Hills in my pajamas," said Juul, who just started designing three years ago. "I'm someone who does what they want and feels comfortable doing, and I think that is what the Bobo fashion scene is."


The Bobo or "Bohemian Bourgeois" look appears shopworn, but it's not cheap. Juul's mohair knit shawl sells for $160 at high-end shops like the Los Angeles boutique Shop Intuition.


It's the fashion counterpart to the Bobo lifestyle, which has been described as a blend of consumerism and counterculture.


"It is about being big time, and at the same time being artsy," said Mark Tango, a Malibu designer who creates T-shirts worn by Olson that retail for about $100 and sometimes are made with holes and rips. "It is not a cheap style. It's really deliberate."


Olsen's recent spread in The New York Times Sunday Styles section wasn't the first time a Juul creation has been worn by celebrities. A poncho she designed was worn by Lisa Rinna of "Days of Our Lives" fame on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," and Mary Hart sported Juul's mohair swing coat on "Entertainment Tonight."


But this one has had the biggest impact, with more stores showing an interest in carrying the scarf-like shawls.


"It does prove that when an item is on a star the item does get an enormous amount of attention," said Juul, who has targeted the shawl at women of all ages, though it certainly has a certain appeal to younger women.


Going Upscale
The Holiday Inn Brentwood-Bel Air isn't going to be a Holiday Inn much longer.


Los Angeles-based GH Capital LLC, the hotel's owner, wants to turn it into a high-end boutique hotel. The company isn't renewing its franchise agreement with InterContinental Hotels Group, Holiday Inn's parent, when it expires in a few months.


GH Capital is planning $7 million in renovations to the hotel's 214 rooms, spa, pool, restaurant and surrounding grounds. The top-floor restaurant is slated to become a fine-dining spot with a noted chef, who hasn't been hired yet.


"The whole hotel is going to have not only a face lift but a major improvement," said Benjamin Reznik, an attorney for GH Capital with Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro LLP.


The hotel, located at 170 N. Church Lane, expects to obtain city approvals for the renovations within the next few weeks.


Staff reporter Rachel Brown can be reached by phone at (323) 549-5225, ext. 224, or by e-mail at rbrown@labusinessjournal.com .

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.