Fashionistas across the US will have to book a ticket abroad this year to partake in all the goodies and excitement of Fashion’s Night Out this coming September as it was announced yesterday that it will be on hiatus in 2013, but only in the US.
A night full of free cocktails, samples, celebrity spotting and DJs mixing up tunes in your favourite designer and high street stores, this celebration of shopping was conceived by Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour in 2009 as a bid to combat the fall in shopping spending following the economic down turn and recession. Starting in New York, by 2012 it had spread to over 500 cities in the US and 30 cities around the world, including London, Paris and Sydney.
While it is hard to measure whether the event actually had an impact on getting people to spend (though judging from the numerous designer shopping bags dangling from people’s arms that I’ve seen while attending the London one in 2010 and 2012, it seems to be working), the carnival atmosphere certainly provided shoppers with exposure to the new autumn lines and the opportunity to rub shoulders with people from all areas of celebrity: Victoria Beckham, Blue Man Group, Darren Criss, Anna Wintour, Miranda Kerr and Manolo Blahnik are just a few who participated in events last year.
As the event has grown so too has the pressure on stores to put on bigger and better shows than the previous year. Add to this, the designers are often staging fashion shows of their latest collections at the same time. This lead to the decision that the US event would go on hiatus in 2013 so ‘retailers and designers can focus their budgets on projects that are more in line with their specific objectives, rather than a big event on one night in September’, according to Women’s Wear Daily.
However, the party side of the event seemed to take over from the shopping side with people using it as an opportunity to bar-hop their way through the stores and have their photo taken with the celebrities on hand causing shoppers, with the means to shop in these stores to generally stay away. It also caused a logistical nightmare for local police enforcement with police barricades lining the streets of Soho, New York in an attempt to control the crowds battling for entry into the stores.
There was a charity side to the event with each country nominating a charity of their choice where a certain percentage of profits from FNO merchandise went. Over the four years in New York, over $1.5 million was raised for the New York City AIDS Fund in the New York Community Trust.
While US fashionistas are hoping the hiatus is only temporary, the FNO website confirms that events will still be taking place in 19 countries, including Australia, France, Italy, Japan, the UK and, for the first time, Thailand and the Ukraine.
Have you attended a FNO event? Did it encourage you to start spending again? Let us know below.