What Happened to Fashion's Night Out?
posted by LIM College
Sept. 8, 2011 seemed like just any other day in New York City. The streets were crowded with business people and tourists, and the last of rain had finally gone away. However, this was no ordinary day. Those in the fashion industry and fashion enthusiasts alike knew that this day led to one of the most anticipated nights in fashion, and the kick-off of New York Fashion Week. The night, appropriately titled “Fashion’s Night Out,” comes just once a year –and for good reason.
Fashion’s Night Out (FNO) began as an event to stimulate the suffering fashion industry. People just weren’t shopping during the difficult economic times of the past decade; everyone was, and still is, only interested in buying sale or heavily discounted merchandise while the luxury, designer items they once bought became a thing of the past. In 2009, the first FNO was a saving grace for many designers and retailers; people flocked from store to store and shopped again.
However, in its third consecutive year, people have been flocking to Manhattan’s stores for the parties, celebrity encounters, and free food, alcohol, and musical performances instead. These are great attractions, but it seems like the whole idea behind FNO has been lost for good. I can’t tell you how many people I saw walking the streets without a single shopping bag in their hands. I think the event actually deters people from shopping because of the ridiculous, mob-like crowds, and the inability to even look at the merchandise because of them. FNO has just grown too big too fast, and now it has become a tradition that more and more people look forward to for the wrong reasons. Most of the night is spent crawling up and down the crowded streets, standing in line to see famous people for hours on end, going from place to place to get the free food and drinks, and trying not to lose your friends or family.
All in all, FNO has just become one big party, and in doing so, has lost its purpose. I wish I could have experienced the first FNO when only fashion insiders really knew about it, and you could actually go from store to store without being suffocated or tread on. Like everyone else, I was looking forward to this year’s FNO, but between being pushed around by strangers, having to change into flats only an hour into the event, waiting in line for what seemed like hours just to get into stores, and sweating through my jacket, I lost my motivation to participate by 8:00 p.m. In four hours, I only went into two of the six stores I planned on visiting. Even with the right planning, there is no way that you will accomplish everything you want to on FNO.
Looking back on FNO 2011, there is a good chance that I won’t go at all next year, and I am sure that many other people won’t, either.