So I was perusing the news last night, AKA Facebook and was surprised, no shocked, to see a farewell message from the organizers of Fashion's Night Out (FNO) saying that they would be going on a hiatus in the US this year. What?! Say it ain't so!
The global fashion party was launched in 2009 during an economic downturn that severely affected the retail and fashion industries. It was the brainchild of Vogue editrix Anna Wintour and at one point seemed to be unstoppable. I mean, who doesn't recall the large crowds, the parties and the spectacle that went on all over New York City. Remember when Bergdorf Gordman had crowds spilling out onto Fifth Ave by turning one of their windows into a performance venue? The point was to get consumers excited about fashion again and it seemed to work…for awhile.
The problem was everytime the numbers came in they were less than stellar. Which, if you consider how much money retailers were probably sinking into the event, was probably a huge factor in the decision to pull the plug. You would think with such a huge turnout that this would not be the case, but the crowds were so large at times, and the chaos so complete in some stores, that it actually made it more difficult to shop. With that said, I wouldn't be so quick to say it was not a success as many will probably debate. I mean, if the point was to get us all excited about fashion again, than it served it's purpose and it is time to move on.
Personally, I don't think it is the end. I think it is the start of an era where we are not just talking about the democratization of fashion, but actually live it. Don't be surprised when the fashion and retail industries put their heads together again and come up with something new.
In the meantime, we will always remember, trawling the FNO website checking to see which retailers were participating, creating our FNO itinerary to make sure we didn't miss anything, meandering through the crowds to see our favorite designers and of course our FNO t-shirt.
Click here to see the Fashion's Night Out official statement.