On September 6th, fashion friends from 19 countries around the world got all dolled up and went on a collective night out. US Vogue Editor and certified Queen of Fashion, Anna Wintour, established FNO in 2009 in an attempt to boost the retail economy and it has evolved into a night where you drink (in most places, for free) cocktails and champagne, while attempting to see celebrities and perhaps doing a little bit of shopping.
I was lucky enough to attend Vogue’s Fashion’s Night Out in New York City and my night was a blur as I tried to witness all the main events. Planning your night before hand is crucial – yet while the website states what events are happening where, it doesn’t state who will be where, and that is a very important part of the evening.
We started off in Soho at 7pm, which was buzzing with a mix of the fashion-forward downtown crowd and perplexed tourists, lining up to enter shops without knowing why there were actually queuing or what they would find inside. There was a large crowd and police presence outside the MAC store where Azealia Banks was performing, and models posing in the windows of Bloomingdales built an apt party atmosphere. Some shops had guest lists, which provided the fashion exclusivity of the evening, whereas others such as Kate Spade had entertainers involving the crowd and creating an inviting environment.
Following a tip off text from a friend that (actual, real life) Kim Kardashian was in department store Lord and Taylor on Fifth Avenue, we jumped in a cab and sped uptown with the hope we could befriend her with our vast knowledge of her family and maybe even be adopted into the Kardashian clan. This store was one of my favourite places of the night with a busy, exciting atmosphere and free champagne being handed out; always a plus. The ‘Kim floor’ of the store was jam-packed with a huge crowd attempting to catch a glimpse of her famous face and, once again, a large security presence. Only those willing to pay the $125 for her perfume actually got to meet her however, and only fleetingly, yet for the majority of the crowd just being in the presence of a mega-celebrity seemed to be enough.
After Lord and Taylor we ventured to Joe Fresh, where its own spicy cocktails created an upmarket bar atmosphere, followed by the retail big shots Saks and Bendel’s. Both of these famous New York department stores had a great atmosphere and a range of activities on different floors including photo booths, makeovers and the opportunity to personalize your own FNO t-shirts and phone cases.
The meatpacking district hosted the major fashion players of the night, where Anna Wintour and Alex Chung were among those enjoying the festivities. My only criticism of the event was the curfew that Ms. Wintour set which meant that the stores closed at 10pm, making it more a ‘Fashion’s Early Evening Night Out’. Nevertheless, the evening was an enjoyable, great way to enjoy fashion and explore the city whilst building hype for New York Fashion Week that kicks off this week.