RAP ATTACK: Kanye West raps about working at Gap in his hit “Spaceship,” but the Grammy-winning hip-hop artist is dipping into the fashion business with a clothing line of his own, called Pastel, which is expected to launch next spring. “It’ll be a men’s line, but it’ll have some women’s in it, too,” said West. These days, everyone with a record deal is starting his or her own label, but West readily gives props to those who studied fashion and spend their lives devoted to the trade. “I can’t talk about clothes the way they can,” he said. “They’re tastemakers.”

STROLL IN MOTION: Lawrence Stroll has a message for the naysayers who think his Asprey business is stalling. “This is an endurance race, not a sprint. Will we win the endurance race? I don’t know. But we certainly haven’t entered the sprint race,” a suntanned and exuberant Stroll said on the sidelines of Selfridges’ Vegas Supernova party on Wednesday night. Stroll said he and his partners, who include Silas Chou, Edgar Bronfman Jr., Morgan Stanley Capital and the Luxembourg-based TAG Group, are “absolutely committed” to the A&G business in the long run. He said the Asprey store in London was doing well, but New York was having a harder time. “New York was a marketing experience, and not necessarily a pleasant one,” said Stroll. “We opened a store that was larger than the business required. In hindsight, would we do it again? I don’t know. But we’re now expanding all over the world, and sales at A&G are up 59 percent.” A&G Group, parent of the Asprey and Garrard brands, announced that sales rose 59 percent to $51 million in the fiscal year ended March 31.

LACOSTE NABS RODDICK: Polo Ralph Lauren may have beat out Lacoste to become the apparel sponsor for the U.S. Open, but the French apparel giant now has a tennis weapon of its own: Andy Roddick. Lacoste confirmed Thursday that the 22-year-old American will join its roster of sponsored athletes under a five-year contract deal. Terms were not disclosed, but sources said the deal is for about $5 million annually. The move will raise the profile of Lacoste in the tennis arena since it currently doesn’t sponsor other American players of Roddick’s caliber. Roddick for the last five years has been a Reebok-sponsored athlete, but that contract ends May 1. Sources said Nike had been looking to sign on Roddick, but the crocodile beat out the swoosh.THE SPORTING LIFE: Although the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is not really focused on, well, sports, it turns out this year’s cover girl, Carolyn Murphy, is, particularly when it comes to children. The Estée Lauder spokeswoman, who was honored with a “Champions” award last year from the Randall’s Island Sports Foundation for her involvement, will be a VIP guest at the Icahn Stadium launch on Saturday. “I was a swimmer for 11 years,” said Murphy. “Having that physical activity and the effect it has on you emotionally as a child is so important. And for inner-city children, it’s hard because they live in the city, so for them to exercise and have a facility that provides this space for them and the camaraderie is important in their development.” Named for Carl and Gail Icahn, who donated $10 million to the project’s completion, the stadium inhabits the former Downing Stadium plot on Randall’s Island and boasts a 400-meter running track, fitness and exercise rooms and a dance studio. It will be home to an array of programming for Randall’s Island Kids (a physical fitness charity for underresourced children), the New York Road Runners Club and, as it is the only facility in North America certified by the International Association of Athletics Federations, it will boost New York’s Olympic bid. Joining Murphy on Saturday will be Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Ahmet and Mica Ertegun and the “fastest man in the world,” Justin Gatlin.

MONEY BAGS: A “for sale” sign still hangs from the door of Pierre Cardin. But the space-age designer, who said he’s been offered as much as 500 million euros, or about $650 million, for his far-flung fashion business and its web of licenses, wants a better offer. “I know what I’m worth,” groused the 83-year-old couturier as he previewed an exhibit of his Jetsons-worthy furniture creations in Paris on Thursday evening. “Do you realize I’ve got 800 licenses? Do the calculations: That’s a whole lot of money. Everyone wants a bargain.” Cardin, who also owns the Maxim restaurants, hotels and a theater in Paris, has been shopping his business around for a couple of years. ACTING UP: Screaming animal activists dampened Mark Badgley’s and James Mischka’s appearance at Bergdorf Goodman Thursday, but not for long. While fourth-floor shoppers mingled and nibbled on tea sandwiches, a few People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals protesters shouted at the designers, who were chatting with Kelly Klein, and held up signs with images of carcasses. “He has leather shoes on,” sniffed one shopper.Moments later, two women dumped red-dyed fur tails on the floor, before publicists sprang into action grabbing their signs and sweeping them toward the door. After the hubbub died down, Bergdorf’s vice president and senior fashion director, Robert Burke, joked,”Who says New York Times ads don’t work?” referring to the full-page ad that ran Sunday plugging the event.

Klein, who was once hit with a PETA member-thrown key lime pie aimed at Karl Lagerfeld, was unruffled. On her way out, she mentioned her new photography book will be published next month and her first solo exhibition bows at the Glen Horowitz Gallery in East Hampton over Memorial Day weekend.

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