Fashion's Night Out Still Growing to Epic Proportions, Hits 700 Store Benchmark.

Model Lia Kedebe photographed by Patrick Demarchelier in the special edition Fashion's Night Out shirt

The kick off event to New York Fashion Week, Fashion's Night Out has been steadily gaining speed and has grown to an already enormous proportion with just under a month left to go. The latest count, according to WWD, tops off at 700 participating stores across all five boroughs that will keep their doors open until 11 p.m. during the city wide shopping event. The festivities, dreamt up as a way to get consumers excited about shopping again beyond the typical method of discounting, will include designer appearances, models and celebrities, rock performances, Broadway acts, cook-ins, fashion exhibits, makeovers, style seminars and even sewing lessons to take place throughout the city's store venues. Twelve countries have also signed on to create their own versions of Fashion's Night Out, but the Big Apple remains the biggest by far.

The event's sponsors, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, NYC & Company, the City of New York and Vogue, seem pleased with the progress of the Sept. 10th event. "Little did I think, when the idea of Fashion’s Night Out was first dreamed up this past March during the Paris collections, that we would have over 700-and-counting retailers, designers and brands joining us,” said Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour. “There is so much planned that we could shop till dawn and still not see and do everything.” Executive director of the CFDA, Steven Kolb added, " Fashion’s Night Out is that rare opportunity to meet the person behind the label." The sponsors should also be proud of the event's charity ties; now deemed as the city's largest ever retail event, a strong emphasis is being placed on giving back. Forty percent of the proceeds from a Fashion’s Night Out T-shirt will support The September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center. The NYC AIDS fund will also benefit from a clothing drive Sept. 10 to 12 sponsored by IMG at various retail and public locations.

The only thing as sweet as FNO's causes is the endless array of names that will be making appearances throughout the night. So far the dizzying list includes Manolo Blahnik, Thom Browne, Tory Burch, Roberto Cavalli, Francisco Costa, Frédéric Fekkai, Alberta Ferretti, Patricia Field, Carolina Herrera, Tommy Hilfiger, Derek Lam, Nanette Lepore, Trish McEvoy, Isaac Mizrahi, Kate Mulleavy, Josie Natori, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Oscar de la Renta, Narciso Rodriguez, Lela Rose, Rachel Roy, Maria Sharapova, Elie Tahari, Diane von Furstenberg, Alexander Wang, Yeohlee, David Yurman, Lauren Bush, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Cindy Crawford, Lynda Carter, Hugh Jackman, Karolina Kurkova, Liev Schreiber, Stephanie Seymour and Ivanka Trump. Bergdorf Goodman alone will have Zac Posen painting in the windows; designers Peter Som and Cynthia Rowley appearing at a cook-off and André Leon Talley hosting a fashion game with teams led by Donna Karan, Linda Fargo and Robert Verdi. Its like a dream come true!

American Express is creating a Fashion’s Night Out map highlighting the 700 retailers and savings for card holders at stores and restaurants. Payless is providing four Gray Line double-decker buses to shuttle consumers through Midtown and downtown, and Aveda’s Experience Center at Fifth Avenue and West 19th Street will provide pedicabs (!) within a 15-block radius south of the store. And a new Web site,, lists everything that’s in store for the night so people can choose where to go based on their favorite designer or brand. There are also daily updates on Fashion’s Night Out’s Facebook page and Twitter. Truly, they have thought of everything. So check out the new website for regular updates and additions and if you're like me, you'll start scheming your plan of attack now!

Article and Photo Source: WWD
-Alia Rajput

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