Elton John Sells Clothes for Charity

A luminous green panther-style suit, leopard print jackets, pop star regalia in electric blue — Elton John is clearing out his closets to raise money to fight AIDS.

John, who rocks in a fashion class all his own, shared his unique threads and style at an elaborate rummage sale today.

Fans lined up all day outside the central London shop where the star was selling off 15,000 items of clothing and accessories.

Sir Elton snipped a pink ribbon to open the sale and the fans poured in to prowl among racks packed with colorful designer wear and tables piled with sweaters, shirts and shoes.

Organizers said Elton John’s AIDS Foundation raised more than $140,000 in the first four hours. The sale is to continue for several days, until everything is sold.

The star’s last clothes sale, in 1997, raised $500,000 in five days.

Shoes, Hats and Panther Suit In addition to high-priced designer wear, such as Gianni Versace’s luminous panther suit — now $2,150-— and a $35,750 1986 blue and purple stage costume, many more affordable items were on sale. Hundreds of pairs of shoes were priced about $45 each, shirts started at $20 and baseball caps at $7.

The fans were thrilled to have such personal mementoes.

William Carbury, a 43-year-old college receptionist, said he had “gone a bit mad” at the sale. “I only had a budget of $215 but I ended up spending $500” on two pairs of shoes, some shirts and a belt.

“I can’t wait to try it all on,” he said.

Sharon Kalinoski, from Chicago, 36-year-old head of John’s American fan club, said she’s spent more than $1,430 and that she’d be back again Thursday for more.

“I bought over 60 items, some of which I will keep and some of which I will give to fans back in the U.S.,” she said.

Then there were the folks who just admired Elton’s style.

“I’m not really a fan of Elton John but I do like his clothes,” said London window cleaner Desmond Cooley, who spent $300 on sweaters and shoes.

“I’m going on holiday tomorrow to the Far East so I can pretend I am a millionaire with all my Versace gear.”

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