Tonight was the first ever Fashion's Night Out, a worldwide initiative to stimulate retail sales. Shoppers all over the world hit the stores and were entertained with cocktails, tasty treats, spa treatments and world-renowned DJs. It was the absolute largest fashion week party ever.
Vera Wang: Brides-to-be were treated with manicures, hair styling, champagne and wedding cake. Each time a girl stepped out of a dressing room there was a universal sigh: ahhhhhhh. Vera was on-hand signing books and taking photogprahs with customers. Yves Durif, who has a salon at the Carlyle, scooped in and tasseled the hair of prospective customers. Super-star nutritionist, Oz Garcia, lent advice on how to look and feel wonderful on the big day.
Retail analysis: One customer told Vera that she had just purchased two party dresses. We imagine that there will be several Vera Wang brides due to this event.
Cesare Paciotti: There was lots of delicious white and red wine but we never got our questions answered by Mr.Paciotti. Maybe the only way to avoid breaking skinny heels is to get new feet?
Retail analysis: Lots of socializing but we didn't spot a single person trying on shoes. Maybe they will come back later in the week when there's more room to spread out.
Valentino: The largest crowd on Madison was in front of Valentino, which lined the street with velvet ropes. The store apparently had a guest list. A shopping night like this is too short to worry about lists.
Retail analysis: We imagine that the store was attempting to cater to their better customers, society clientele and whatever celeb they could get their hands on. No shopping bags spotted.
Roberto Cavalli: The music was pumping and the crowd was partying. The event was as decadent as the clothing. Could you imagine Roberto Cavalli throwing a party that didn't have amazing music and interesting drinks?
Retail analysis: Again, no shopping bags but the store was so crowded that serious shopping would be difficult.
Overall analysis: Fashion's Night Out was a huge success. Customers truly did come out to stores and celebrate retail. The jewelry stores on Madison seem to have had an exceptional customer reaction and that will most definitely show in receipts. Department stores, on the other hand, were overly crowded and many of the sales associates which we spoke said that there were many more partiers than shoppers.
Looking forward: Fashion's Night Out 2010 will no longer be a social experiment and designers and boutiques will continue to find more creative and outrageous ways to lure customers to this evening shopping event. Lets just hope that it doesn't get so out of hand that coming out to shop becomes no longer enjoyable.