UPPER EAST SIDE — Call it couture for a cause.
On Saturday, Dec. 1, more than 60 Madison Avenue retailers — including Gucci, La Perla and Bottega Veneta — will donate 20 percent of gross receipts to the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's Pediatric Family Housing Initiative. The program currently pays lodging fees for children and their families who come for treatment at the hospital's pediatric department but can't afford it themselves.
The Initiative is also raising funds to build its own accomodations, a spokeswoman for the Miracle on Madison Avenue event said.
The Miracle, in its 26th year, is organized by the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District (BID), and was initiated by the merchants themselves, event spokeswoman Amy Rosi said. The shop-a-thon has raised some $7 million for area charities, or about $300,000 per year, she said.
Participating retailers are located along the avenue from 57th to 86th Streets, and will donate up to $15,000 each of their sales that take place between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday.
This year, a stage will be set up at the intersection of 64th Street and Madison Avenue featuring four hours of performances starting at noon, Rosi said.
The entertainment will include Cobu, a Japanese drumming-tap dancing mashup; Come Together, a Beatles cover band; and the Pipes of Christmas Celtic dancers.
In addition, the Italian Trade Commission will set up a hospitality lounge at 33 E. 67th St., between Madison and Park Avenues, where Miracle shopping participants can get free gift-wrapping.
Rosi said she hopes this year's Miracle will be the strongest yet.
"Even in tough times, giving back is a motivator for shoppers," she said.
Matthew Bauer, who leads the BID, said that area retailers are looking forward to continuing the tradition of civic involvement in 2012 and beyond.
"Madison Avenue retailers are very enmeshed in this community, in the New York City community, in the Upper East Side community, and they are very supportive of making sure that New York City is as strong as it could be," he said. "It's a great opportunity for clients to come out, do their holiday shopping and support children in need."