Fashion’s Night Out Opens Doors and Bars

The air was crisp, the doors wide open and fashion’s driving forces and novices flooded Manhattan streets in outfits saved for the occasion. If not for the lack of children and plastic bags containing goodies, Fashion’s Night Out may have been mistaken for Halloween.

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The air was crisp, the doors wide open and fashion’s driving forces and novices flooded Manhattan streets in outfits saved for the occasion. If not for the lack of children and plastic bags containing goodies, Fashion’s Night Out may have been mistaken for Halloween.
The store-hopping event, planned to resuscitate shopping urges, lived up to its celebrity-hobnobbing and free champagne promises. Justin Timberlake previewed his William Rast collection at Saks Fifth Avenue. Victoria Beckham posed for photos at Bergdorf Goodman. Gwen Stefani and Anna Wintour appeared at Bloomingdale’s, while Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen bartended a few blocks away at Barneys New York. However, according to those involved with the event, the parties didn’t result in a surge of sales the recession-hit industry needs, and most businesses marked the event a success if sales from the night covered the extra expenses required to stay open late. In a New York Magazine interview, Simon Doonan, Barneys creative director, said the crowd “skewed very young” and hinted that the retailer may have lost money. He said next time organizers need to find a way to “monetize the whole experience.”
Fashion’s Night Out may get a second chance: Rumor has it, event backers like Diane von Furstenberg, would like to host Fashion’s Night Out the first Thursday of each New York Fashion Week. Hopefully, next time around, shoppers will have more money to spend.      
The debut of Fashion’s Night Out was an opportunity for fashion followers to catch a glimpse of their favorite designer, drink while surrounded by fabulous apparel, get a free manicure at Chanel and let those typically left on Bryant Parks’ steps sneak a peek into the glamorous side of the fashion industry. If there were as many filled shopping bags as there were iPod Touches snapping photos, the night would have been a financial victory as much as a memorable evening for style setters-in-waiting.
 

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