Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fashion's Night Out: Tales from 2010

Fashion's Night Out 2011 is two days away! On September 8th, retailers around New York City and the country will transform to take part in the "best fashion party in history".

I attended Fashion's Night Out 2010 and had a really great time. With events in every neighborhood, FNO might seem overwhelming so I'd like to share a few stories and tips I hope will be useful :)

Everything will be crowded and you will be waiting in lines.
Wow this sounds like a downer to start. But it’s the truth: everything from the Metro Card machines to the bathrooms will draw an epic crowd. Last year, one of my destinations was the Chanel store in Soho to see the new nail polishes (shocking, right?). The line to get in stretched around the corner and to the next block and we waited about a half an hour! This brutally honest tip supports the next one...

Pick one or two events you really want to go to, with the understanding that you may not even get to either of them.
Special edition products and giveaways are limited. Celebrity appearances are brief. Stores will have lines to safely control the volume of visitors. If you go to FNO with a large wish list of destinations, you may be disappointed if you aren’t able to get to everything. However, having a small list will allow you to wander into events as you find them (and you will!) without the concern of getting off track. Any bonus event you stumble upon will be that much more victorious!

Stay within a neighborhood or two.
Events will be happening all over NYC, but you don't want to spend FNO waiting for the subway or paying for a cab to take you all over town. And we’re already anticipating long lines, so make the most of the night and browse the FNO website ahead of time to see what's going on in an area.

Don't expect to do a lot of shopping.
While the intention of Fashion's Night Out is to revive excitement about shopping, not much of it happens on FNO. My boyfriend is fan of Ben Sherman clothes so we thought it would be fun to see if they were having any specials or promotions at their Spring Street store. When we arrived, we were surprised to see that the entire store had been cleared of merchandise – the tables of plaid shirts and Bermuda shorts had been replaced by a DJ and a bar! Speaking of drinks…(read more)

Be responsible.
For the 21 and over crowd, many stores will be giving out free cocktails. But don't get caught up in a FNO frenzy and do something goofy. New York City has an open container law and a citation is not the kind of giveaway you want to pick up.

Long lines do not necessarily indicate a great event.
This tip is contrary to what you might think :) A huge line had formed outside 3.1 Phillip Lim so we thought "OK, something cool must be going on here". We waited and waited and when we finally got in, discovered much to our surprise… nothing. There was a room full of people standing around. What were we missing? What was everyone waiting outside for? The free drinks were long gone but people congregated around a rented folding table that looked like it had been a bar at one point in the night, even though we heard several employees say they were out of drinks. So in contrast…

Don't pass by an event at a store you've never heard of.
Some of the better events will be un- or under-advertised. The big department stores will be packed, but smaller boutiques will be less crowded. We wandered into the small Korres store on Wooster St, signed up for email promotions, and received three free eyeliners! No lines, no crowds, just some really neat people and a splendid giveaway. I do hope you discover something unexpectedly awesome this FNO.

Pack light and bring a camera.
The streets and stores will be crowded (oh, sorry, did I already mention the lines?) which means the less you are carrying, the easier you will be able to navigate through people, mannequins, DJs, dogs, etc. If you’re scouting out free drinks, bring your ID and if you can, get your Metro Card ahead of time. Don’t forget your camera, because you never know who you’ll run into… which brings me to…

"Look it's Kanye" is like yelling fire in a movie theater.
Stay clear of celebrity sightings if at all possible. True story: last year, we were taking in the FNO sights on Mercer Street when suddenly a significant and tightly-packed crowd formed in front of the Mercer Hotel. Excited voices saying "It's Kanye" erupted and before you could say "fish sticks" we were in the midst of a Kayne-frenzied mob. Was Kanye even there? Who knows.

So select your top few events, don’t be disappointed if your plan doesn’t go quite as planned, and just see where the night takes you! This is just my advice and I hope you have a GREAT time doing whatever you choose to do :)

Did you go to Fashion's Night Out in the past? Please share your advice in the comments!


  1. Sounds like a fantastic time...well except the lines. Have fun!

  2. Wish I could go! One of these years I hope to make it. Hope you have a good time!

  3. mrsrexy and Katie, I'll be sure to take pictures and share!!!