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Fashion Center Bid to Bow March 24

NEW YORK -- The Fashion Center Business Improvement District will hold a kickoff celebration on Thursday, March 24, at 11:45 a.m. at the plaza sidewalk area outside 1411 Broadway here.<BR><BR>Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, Mark Eisen, Cynthia Rowley...

NEW YORK — The Fashion Center Business Improvement District will hold a kickoff celebration on Thursday, March 24, at 11:45 a.m. at the plaza sidewalk area outside 1411 Broadway here.

Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, Mark Eisen, Cynthia Rowley and Cynthia Steffe are creating apparel and related items for the launch that were inspired by the FCBID’s logo — a large black button whose thread holes form the letter F. This work will be on display for the ceremony. In addition, security and sanitation uniforms designed by Stan Herman, innerwear designer and president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, will be unveiled.

FCBID officials said speakers will include Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Donna Karan. Other designers expected to attend include Blass, Michael Kors and Nicole Miller.

The FCBID comprises the 31-million-square-foot area known as the garment center and extends from Fifth to Ninth Avenues from 35th to 41st Streets. It is managed by the not-for-profit District Management Association, which includes property owners, commercial and residential tenants and public and industry representatives. Established in September, the FCBID has a first-year operating budget of $3 million, funded by a special assessment of 0.25 percent of the assessed value of properties within the district.

Carvel Moore, executive director of the FCBID, said sanitation and security programs are under way. A security force of 16 uniformed and three plainclothes security agents began patrolling the streets on Feb. 28, and will operate Mondays through Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. A security telephone number (212-764-0490) may be called during the same hours.

Twenty-one uniformed sanitation workers have been assigned to clean streets and sidewalks. Moore said in the first eight working days since sanitation services started, a total of 20 tons of garbage has been collected from street litter baskets and sidewalks. These security and sanitation services provided by the FCBID augment the city’s police and sanitation departments.

The FCBID has marketing and public relations plans in the works to encourage out-of-town buyers to make more trips here. Projects include a direct-mail campaign targeting retailers, information kiosks at airports and hotels, development of an industry database and information telephone line, and a beautification project for the district.