In exactly one week, the great city of Manhattan along with hundreds of cities all over the world will partake in what is known as Fashion's Night Out. In it's simplest form, FNO is an even where all the stores participating stay open much later than normal. They have special sales, giveaways, and what I think is the coolest, appearances by the designers. No, the designers aren't swarmed with body guards or an impenetrable entourage, but they literally make themselves available to the public. Over the years, certain happenings have taken place. Thom Browne, one of my favorite designers, winner of GQ's designer of the year back in '08 , and CFDA award winner in '06, partook in a few friendly games of ping pong. Oscar de la Renta, the master of evening gowns, serenades the lovely Sarah Jessica Parker. And designer Zac Posen cut a few dance steps. All in all, it's a night that allows you to see, touch, and smell "our" celebrities. I believe that the idea was conceived by the great Anna Wintour, Editor in Chief of Vogue magazine.
|Possibly the most influential person in the industry, Anna Wintour, third from left|
|Thom Browne, owning the table|
|Zac Posen cutting a rug|
Consider this post a plea to the fashion community of Charleston. I'm about as green as they come in the industry, so I currently don't have the "pull" to make it happen here. However, I would greatly take pleasure in helping this vision come to pass. I feel like Charleston is a hotbed for fashion that's gaining more notoriety every year. For example, K. Cooper Ray of the style and etiquette blog Social Primer has been pumping out a special line of bow ties for the past 5 seasons with Brooks Brothers. This year marks the first that he will step out on his own and will be presenting his new line of ties and blazers at New York Fashion Week. I feel proud that a Charlestonian has broken through and representing us well. Not that he's the first from here to present at NYFW, but it's just cool to know that I've shaken his hand, held a few conversations with him, and he knows my name.
But back to the main topic: why Charleston should have a "real" FNO event. I say real because upon a little research, I learned that there are actually a handful of stores on King Street participating on the night. But nowhere within an ounce of comparison to the one in New York. Do I want us to be like the big dogs"? Well yes. I'm a winner and I expect to be good at every thing I put my hands to (its a nasty habit that I picked up when I was younger and I just cant seem to shake it.....sarcasm). Do I think we're ready to do it like they do it up there? Not even close. But I do think we can do a lot better than what we are doing? Abso-flippin-lutey Nothing but good things can come from this. Stores are almost guaranteed to generate more revenue that night. Designers and shop owners get to develop a relationship with their customers. It's a proven fact that people will spend their hard earned money with you if they like you. Even if you're more expensive than the competitors.
|Mob-like scene outside of Bergdorf Goodman in NY|
Lastly, its a great way to keep Charleston on people's minds. As far as I know, there are no major buzz worthy events going on in the Fall. Spring and Summer are stacked with things to bring in out-of-town guests. We've got Charleston Fashion Week, Family Circle Cup, the bridge run, Spoleto....like I said, we're pretty set for the first 7 months of the year. I think it would be good to keep a buzz in the city. And what better way than to have an all out, all night fashion extravaganza. So hopefully a FNO expansion is already in the works and I don't know about it, or someone in a position of power will see this, agree with me, and get the ball rolling on making this thing happen.