Pricey Coffee, Free T

Conquering the world, one cup at a time

The good people at Starbucks -- otherwise known as Home Of The $5 Coffee -- want you to know it's okay to hold up the line and order an extra-hot, tall, lite-foam, half-caf, extra sprinkles, non-fat, mocha-capp.

In fact, they encourage it. They want to celebrate the needy java gene.

So the company enlisted the help of uber-popular Project Runway season three finalist Mychael Knight to create a series of T-shirts. This way, customers can show the world just how unique they are by wearing by one of 10,000 mass-produced T-shirts. In fairness, each will say something different. Huh?

Beginning at 1:00 p.m. daily through February 28, the first 500 people to log onto the coffee purveyor's Website can plug in their favorite drink and Starbucks will send you a cream-color T-shirt for free (!) with your preferred beverage emblazoned in Knight-style fashion across the front.

And the hunky designer was in town yesterday -- looking delicious in an orange T-shirt, blue jeans, and orange kicks -- to officially launch the promotion from the coffee shop on Ocean Drive and 14 Street.

Knight, who lost the reality TV show this past fall, says the Starbucks venture is just one of many ventures he has undertaken over the past few months.

"I didn't take the trophy home but it's all good," he laughs, his silver braces gleaming in the afternoon sunlight. "The show opened up a lot of doors. I mean I'm here with Starbucks and that came from seeing me on the show and liking my work."

Knight says he is working on a collection of flirty dresses he hopes to release this summer, in addition to MAJK (pronounced magic, which are his initials), a signature fragrance, and Kitty and Dick, a risque lingerie line. --Joanne Green

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Frank Houston