For the first year since its inception in 2009, Fashion’s Night Out will not be held in the United States. WWD reports that the event’s sponsors — Vogue, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and NYC & Co. — have collectively decided to put the annual retail extravaganza on hold for the year, citing the wish to allow individual stores and designers to “focus their budgets on projects that are more in line with their specific objectives” rather than direct them all to one single night that, let’s face it, was becoming more and more of a circus with each passing year.
When FNO first started nearly five years ago, the economy was in the tank and retailers were struggling to lure in shoppers. The solution? An evening of celebrity appearances, free cocktails, limited edition products, one-night-only discounts, and general revelry to get the masses out of their houses and into the stores.
Was it a success? Well, yes and no. On the one hand, Anna Wintour and co. pretty much masterminded an international holiday, which by last year had expanded to over 500 cities in the United States and 30 more internationally. It raised over $1 million for the NYC AIDS Fund and drew bigger and bigger numbers with every passing year, raising awareness about individual retailers and the fashion industry as a whole.
On the other, have you tried going out on FNO? Between clogged streets, lines around the block, and crowds more interested in procuring free glasses of Pinot Grigio than checking out the wares (a fact which stores caught on to years ago), the original intent seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle. When asked about the monetary impact of the whole production, CFDA head honcho Steven Kolb demurred:
“I don’t think the success of it was measured only by numbers or money, but was really about engagement.…Everyone feels we had a great four years. It brought a lot of attention to retail, to fashion’s important place in retail. Everyone feels really proud of what we accomplished, and excited to take those lessons and continuing them throughout the year.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg likewise has only positive things to say about FNO:
“Fashion’s Night Out brought great energy, optimism and enthusiasm to the city’s retailers, who make up a thriving part of our economy. We can always count on fashion industry leaders to use their creativity and savvy to benefit New York City — whether they are helping us recover from a national recession, a natural disaster or whatever the next challenge may be.”
For 2013, however, the night will go on “hiatus” in the U.S., while 19 countries internationally will be hosting celebrations. As for us, we’re just excited to have a night off from the mob scene before the circus of New York Fashion Week returns once again. Alas, we guess there won’t be any free prosecco to celebrate with.