By  on September 8, 2005

NEW YORK — Over the years, Lil' Kim has become a close friend of Marc Jacobs and his business partner, Robert Duffy. She regularly attends Jacobs' fashion shows and sometimes even accessorizes his arm at events, such as the Costume Institute gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in May.

It was only a matter of time, then, before the designer and rapper would collaborate on a project. On Monday, Jacobs and Duffy are hosting their after-show party with Lil' Kim and Fossil, celebrating the launch of Marc Jacobs Time Pieces, which are manufactured with Fossil.

"When we throw a party, we always tie it in with a charity ... and we usually try to get one of our friends involved," Duffy said. "I was talking to Lil' Kim and she supports The Door charity."

The Door is a nonprofit organization that annually helps more than 7,000 at-risk youths aged 12 to 21 with issues such as health and prenatal care, legal problems, tutoring and homework. The Door was founded in 1972 and covers New York's five boroughs. "The reason why I chose the The Door ... was because I was a former Door member as a young girl while living in Brooklyn," Lil' Kim explained.

As part of Monday's event, Jacobs and Duffy have embarked on a special T-shirt initiative. On Wednesday, the final touches were put on a window display at the Marc by Marc Jacobs boutique on Bleecker Street here. It features a huge photograph of Lil' Kim taken by Roger Erickson, with a collection of special T-shirts Jacobs made featuring her image. The Ts retail for $20, and the company manufactured a total of 6,000 of them. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit The Door.

Lil' Kim added, "Marc and Robert are both very dear friends of mine, and when I was told that they would be designing a T-shirt in honor of me and donating the proceeds to a charity that was very dear to my heart, I was completely blown away by their generosity and thoughtfulness.

"I absolutely love the T-shirts and hope that people will feel good wearing them while giving back to such an amazing organization," Lil' Kim said. She is even throwing in her new CD single, "Lighters Up," featuring three versions of the song. It will come with the purchase of the T-shirt, given availability."Lil' Kim is a very easy person to work with, even to be friends with," Duffy said. "She is just easy. She is into it for all the right reasons, and I think it's awesome. It makes me very proud of her."

The Lil' Kim T-shirts are available at Marc by Marc Jacobs stores in New York, Los Angeles and Boston, and the Marc Jacobs boutique in Bal Harbour, Fla.

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