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The Fashion’s Night Out express hit Asia over the weekend, making notable stops in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo.
In Hong Kong, stylists, designers, housewives and wealthy professionals descended on the four branches of luxury retailer Lane Crawford, Vogue China’s partner for the city’s first Fashion’s Night Out on Friday.
As night fell, local actor Lynn Xiong, lyricist Wyman Wong and models Amanda S and Lisa S drew crowds of bystanders at the International Finance Centre branch, where most of the events took place. Hundreds packed into the store, shopping and snacking on cotton candy and popcorn. Judging by the large number of customers with shopping bags, the event appeared to be a success.
Zana Bayne, on her first trip to Asia, attracted a steady stream of women as she customized her signature leather harnesses for them at Lane Crawford’s Tsim Sha Tsui and IFC. Marketing manager Verma Ip took home a red one, at 2,250 Hong Kong dollars, or about $290. “It’ll look great with a t-shirt,” she said. Property investor Teresa Mak was entranced by Bayne’s peplum belts, which models were sporting. “I really wanted one, but they’re not available until next season,” she said.
Dozens of men, meanwhile, congregated around Naked & Famous co-founder Brandon Svaro to buy his selvage denims, particularly the low-rise, tapered “Weird Guy” jeans. For anyone who made a purchase, Svaro fashioned a piece of origami — cranes, dogs and samurai hats were some options — using denim and some skill with an iron.
Customers could not get enough of the 450 Hong Kong dollar ($58) t-shirts by Lanvin, Stella McCartney, White Mountaineering, Givenchy and other designers – and delightfully embellishing them with studs at a table set up for DIY customization in-store at Tsim Sha Tsui and IFC.
In Shanghai, turnout for Friday’s FNO was somewhat demure. The evening kicked off with a red carpet ceremony near the city’s historic Bund waterfront where a couple hundred fans turned out to see celebrities including Chinese actress Sun Li and Zhang Zilin, winner of the 2007 Miss World crown.
Journalists followed the celebrities as they went shopping in a number of luxury stores, such as Chanel, Prada, Roger Vivier, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, located on the Bund and in Plaza 66, a high-end mall on Nanjing West Road. Brand representatives noted that while FNO is gaining more recognition in China where it has been held for four years, the event is still relatively unknown to most consumers. In China, 14 malls in Shanghai and one in Beijing participated in the event.
Foot traffic in Shanghai stores appeared spotty. There were next to no customers in the Salvatore Ferragamo boutique near Plaza 66 when actress Sun Li tried on a pair of stilettos. A Zara store nearby was noticeably busier with a couple dozen shoppers inside sipping champagne.
Tokyo’s edition of FNO took place Saturday night. The atmosphere was decidedly low-key compared with last year’s FNO extravaganza, when Vogue editors and designers came from around the world to lend their support to Japan after the March earthquake and tsunami.
As in past years, FNO activity dominated the Omotesando and Aoyama neighborhoods, attracting a fair amount of foot traffic as the evening progressed. Several stores that offered unique activities beyond the requisite free refreshments attracted the biggest crowds.
At Gucci, customers waited in a long line to have the brand’s double G logo painted onto their skin. Chanel offered manicures in three of its new fall nail colors and generated plenty of bustle in its store. At Theory, staff members in white smocks helped customers to create their own screen printed t-shirts and tote bags.
Several stores offered musical performances as a way to entice customers through the door. Tod’s temporarily transformed into a nightclub when it turned down the lights for a DJ performance, complete with video projections and flashing lights. Paul Stuart hired a four-piece jazz band to perform at the entrance to its store on the Omotesando shopping boulevard.
Unique pop-up concepts were also popular. Coach set up a temporary shop for its Legacy collection inside Montauk, a trendy cafe/bar. It also auctioned off a series of bags that had been painted and decorated by local models, stylists and artists.
The e-commerce fashion site Runway Channel created its first physical store for FNO. The site, which sells Japanese brands like Emoda, Laguna Moon and Resexxy, sold limited-edition t-shirts and set up photo booths so shoppers could take their pictures against branded backgrounds. It also set up a series of vending machines selling plastic eggs containing socks, small accessories and shopping coupons.