|A Bergdorf window during Fashion’s Night Out in 2010.|
I was sad to learn that Fashion’s Night Out is “on hiatus” in the US (I’m reading this as dead in the water), but not surprised. One of the benefits of attending FNO at exactly the same spot—Bergdorf Goodman—from 2010 until 2012 was the opportunity to see how it changed year to year. The first year I attended was amazing, with lots of celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker and Victoria Beckham at Bergdorf’s, as well as designers such as Carlos Falchi and Naeem Khan (and those were just the ones on the same floor as me). There were live mannequins performing in the windows and a huge line to get in the store. There were also plenty of people on the street who had no idea what was going on. You could almost see them scratching their heads: It’s September. What is this? What is the occasion? But you could also tell that they loved it.
|I still love this picture of Bill Cunningham I shot as he worked on 5th Avenue during FNO 2011.|
The next year the party was even more festive, featuring more glorious Bergdorf windows, more celebrities, and more parties than the year before. You could tell the word was out. It was wild at 57th Street and 5th Avenue!
|Another crazy Bergdorf window in 2011. See the lady at the top of the wooden dress?|
But this past year’s FNO was telling. At Bergdorf’s, it seemed like a toned-down event. To their credit they were still quite generous with pouring drinks and giving out food goodies including delicious cupcakes! There were still gorgeous windows, lots of people there, and, had I arrived earlier, I could’ve seen Michael Kors and the Senior Vice President of store presentation and women’s fashion (and one of my style icons) Linda Fargo kicking off the festivities.
However, when my friend and I made it to Henri Bendel’s later in the evening, it was so crazy in there that an actual fight broke out at the bar which spread so fast security had to rush in to control the crowds and separate people.
Since FNO has turned into a free-for-all, with almost no shopping happening—and getting people out to the stores to spend in the midst of a recession was the reason FNO was created—it must be a terrible (and expensive) burden on the stores to host this event every year to ever-larger crowds.
RIP FNO. I will miss you!
|A truck parked on Fifth Avenue during FNO 2011.|
|At Bergdorf's in 2010.|
|5th Avenue at 57th Street. This is easily my favorite corner in Manhattan.|