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Elton cleans out
closet for AIDS charity

Elton cleans out
closet for AIDS charity

Elton John is selling thousands of pieces of his personal wardrobe to raise money for his AIDS charity. The sale, which runs Tuesday through Saturday, includes 10,000 coats, sweaters, suits, and other garments worn by John and his partner, David Furnish.

A temporary shop, Elton's Closet, was set up in the concourse of Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan for the sale. Proceeds benefit the Elton John Aids Foundation. Items include a black Versace suit with some of John's song titles, including "Tiny Dancer" and "Rocket Man," woven into the fabric and the polka-dot Richard James suit John wore when he performed with Eminem at the 2001 Grammy Awards.

"The clothes have hardly been worn. Some of them haven't been worn," said the 59-year-old singer, dressed in a dark suit, gingham-check shirt, and sherbet-striped tie, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday afternoon.

"There's the most extraordinary collection of T-shirts, your baseball caps, your shoes, from flamboyance to classic. And spend some money to help other people who desperately need their lives to be changed and improved, and you'll be doing a really good thing," he said.

This isn't the first time John has cleaned his closet to raise money for his foundation. Sales have been held in London and in Atlanta, where John and Furnish have a home.

Some pieces were plucked from the racks to be featured in the windows of the nearby Saks Fifth Avenue department store, one of the fund-raiser's sponsors.

Michael Macko, Saks men's fashion director, also eyed some pieces for himself.

"In my hands right now I've got two short-sleeved Prada shirts, an orange...cashmere blazer, and Y-3 track pants," Macko told the Associated Press. "Surprisingly, there's something for everybody. Either everybody wants to have a piece of Elton's closet for the historical perspective--there probably isn't a more famous wardrobe in our lifetime--or because having a fluorescent jacket that used to be owned by Elton John makes a great story."

Pieces up for grabs also include a forest green and magenta Jean Paul Gaultier jacket with yellow stars, eight Versace Asian-print silk robes, and a Brioni mink-lined coat with the $8,795 price tag still attached.

There are his-and-his Gucci couture blazers, one gold on a white background and the other silver on black; a feather chalk-striped suit; and a silver Versace trench coat.

The items are mostly bargains, including $150 for a Gucci shirt in a swirly pattern and $30 for Nike and Adidas sneakers.

A few of the special "stage pieces" are expected to be sold for thousands of dollars.

"There's a lot of off-the-rack Abercrombie T-shirts, and there are custom designer costumes," Macko said. "[John] also knows how to pick out important and special pieces. He knows his designers, and you can see he has selected the most important pieces from the collections. And he's from the 'give it to me in any color' ilk." (AP)

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