By  on February 22, 1994

NEW YORK -- Anthony Guccione has big plans -- and he's betting $60 million on them.

He's hoping his vision of Fashion and Design Television (FAD TV) can have the same impact on the fashion industry that MTV had on the music industry.

Conceived as a 24-hour network dedicated to fashion, design and beauty, FAD TV will cast its spotlight on the designers, models and the entourage of hair and makeup artists that stoke the $100 billion-plus industry.

The network will be entertainment-driven and advertising-supported, with home shopping as a secondary source of revenue, said Guccione, whose father is the publisher of Penthouse magazine.

The cost of launching the network is estimated at $60 million, much of which will come from Guccione's own pocket.

By positioning FAD TV primarily as an outlet for fashion news, Guccione, who has yet to find a cable channel for the broadcast, hopes to have designers cooperate on coverage and, once hooked, participate in the home shopping component.

While hard-pressed to name designers who have agreed to sell their merchandise on FAD TV, Guccione said several European designers have "pledged their full cooperation to the fashion programming."

He said Romeo Gigli and Trussardi called to make sure "we would be covering their shows later this month." FAD TV's highlight video features an interview with Karl Lagerfeld and a fashion video for Versace men's wear.

FAD TV's program blocks will be devoted to coverage of the collections, interviews with designers and models. Roving "fashion jockeys" will go behind the scenes at parties, and there will also be programs on interior design, entertaining at home, holistic beauty, plastic surgery and art.

While FAD TV has already produced an impressive amount of footage, one of Guccione's most immediate problems is access to cable distribution. He said he plans to get around that by selling programs to syndication or buying time outright on broadcast television.

Guccione said he wants FAD TV to be in 30 million homes within five years.

Guccione plans to sell six to eight minutes of advertising during each hour of programming. No doubt, he's ambitious: He's hoping that in five years FAD TV's advertising revenues will exceed $100 million.

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