In the city that never sleeps, Macy's Herald Square was wide awake during the wee hours of Christmas Eve.
Under the glow of an appropriately full moon, this reporter found herself rolling down the highway in the pre-dawn hours of Dec. 24 being conveyed to Manhattan by a nearsighted taxi driver.
"Merry Christmas, welcome to Macy's," said the woman at the information desk, sounding much too peppy for 1 a.m.
Macy's was like manna for procrastinators, indecisives and thrill-seeking journalists like this one, operating eight locations, including the Herald Square flagship, round the clock, starting Friday, Dec. 21 at 7 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m. on Dec. 24.
Is Santaland open?" the information desk lady was asked. "Santaland closes at 9 p.m. It reopens in the morning."
Disappointing news, but the store might not want people in various states of sobriety traipsing through the claustrophobic Christmas exhibit that precedes the Santa meet and greet and photo op.
Casting a gaze across the main floor, the gilded garlands arching gracefully over the center aisle and red carpet runners installed for the holidays could be seen as if for the first time. Without the typical workday crowds, the store had an almost peaceful quality.
"It's relatively dead now," admitted a sales associate in the jewelry department, who declined to give his name. "By 3 a.m. it will be totally dead. Yesterday, at 3 a.m. it was crowded. People read in the newspaper that there were no lines, so everybody came. Today it's dead. Maybe it's because of the rain. People want to be in their beds."
Another employee said she was asked to work the holiday hours two or three months ago. Could she have refused? "You can't talk to reporters," her colleague scolded. "Don't you remember orientation?"
"I was asked three months ago," said a cosmetics associate. "I wanted to help the manager. We're not being paid extra."
The holy grail of the Starbucks logo was visible from the 35th Street balcony. Customers in the lounge area were supine in oversize upholstered furniture. So much for the caffeine jolt. "On Christmas Eve we're going to buy gifts for each other," said Hernany Hernandez, a tourist from Holland, who was traveling with six friends. "Now we're going to make lists of what we like. The prices are good. Stores are never open for 24 hours in Holland."
Compared with the laid-back atmosphere at Starbucks, the fragrance counters seemed downright exciting. A small crowd was gathered around Burberry; the shoppers were very young and many of the men wore T-shirts with irreverent statements such as "I am not an idiot savant." At nearby Chanel, a group of men with large diamond stud earrings and leather jackets loaded up on fragrance and handed the bags to significant others sporting serious bling.
The other floors were sparsely populated, with just a handful of shoppers on the second floor taking advantage of the 50 percent discounts on Inc. and 20 percent to 40 percent off on Tommy Hilfiger. "We just had dinner at a [nearby] Korean restaurant," said Nicole Kung. "The sale prices are OK, but they don't have anything in our size [small]."
"I kind of like it better now that you don't have to fight with everybody over a dress," said Alice Kung, her sister.
Peter Zanpella Jr., a window display designer, bought a pair of Alfani shoes for his sister, "Imelda Marcos," he joked. What he liked best about all-night shopping was that "there's not stuff thrown all over the floor."
A woman sitting on the rug beneath an Oscar de la Renta rack marked 50 percent off was catching up on her sleep. Other designer merchandise at markdown prices appeared to be T Tahari, 50 percent to 75 percent off, and Michael Kors, with nearly every rack reduced by 50 percent, 25 percent or an extra 15 percent, taken at the register.
Standing on Broadway outside Macy's at 2:45 a.m., a Northern New Jersey housewife, who declined to give her name, said, "This was a night out with the girls. We got really good sales. Everything was 50 percent off, or more. It was worth it."
Adam Ng spoke for his friends when he said, "We came because we knew it was open. Some of us needed last-minute gifts. We're crazy."
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)