Shoppers Turn Out in Droves for Fashion’s Night Out
The world might very well have a new holiday on its hands – in New York, Fashion’s Night Out on Thursday, Sept. 10, created a festive atmosphere in the streets from uptown to downtown, as over 700 stores stayed open late, offered free champagne or snacks and pumped up the volume in order to lure shoppers.
Organized by Vogue magazine, similar events were planned for stores worldwide, from London to Paris to Tokyo.
It felt like fashion’s very own version of Halloween, except that instead of people dressed as murder victims, there were people dressed as fashion victims. Or just call it team spirit, like the guy accessorized from head-to-toe with Hermes – a scarf worn as a headband, up to the elbows in studded cuffs and Hermes Kelly watches and a Birkin bag the size of a small country.
Many stores promised celebrity guests, like Charlize Theron at Dior. The Dior spokesmodel signed copies of the September issue of Vogue, which features her on the cover, at the 57th Street flagship. Upstairs in the boutique, clients who spent $2500 or more could have their portrait taken by renowned Vogue photographer Arthur Elgort.
“I buy t-shirts from L.L. Bean,” said Elgort, “but you do what you have to do for the people who feed you. I know if there were no magazines I’d be out of a job.”
The streets weren’t just filled with shoppers. Designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka strolled Madison Avenue during the early part of the night and Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa stood outside the Madison Avenue store and signed Fashion’s Night Out t-shirts for fans while CK One model Jamie Burke performed inside.
At Barneys, Ruben and Isabel Toledo signed copies of the book that accompanies Isabel’s exhibit at the Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology, warmly chatting with guests. Ruben, one of fashion’s top illustrators, even drew a portrait or two in the books he signed.
“Everybody is in good spirits,” said Isabel. “It’s a great way to start fashion week.”
Also at Barneys, Juan Carlos Obando, an L.A.-based designer in town for fashion week, gave customers salsa lessons, which made perfect sense with everyone dressed to the nines walking around as though out for a night of clubbing.
Just like the kinds of exclusive fashion parties the evening hoped to evoke for the average customer, there were plenty of lines around the block and swarms of intimidating paparazzi. But, there were good things that came for those who waited on line, like free coffee in a signature blue cup from Tiffany & Co. – they better to keep you fueled for shopping after all that champagne.