NEW YORK — Fashion’s Night Out is hitting the airwaves in an hour-long documentary.

The CBS Television Network will soon start filming a prime-time special about the next Fashion’s Night Out on Sept. 10, which will include behind-the-scenes footage of the preparations and the logistics that go into planning the event, as well as coverage of the night itself. The program will air on CBS on Wednesday, Sept. 15, at 8 p.m.

This story first appeared in the February 23, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“Last year, when this event came to life, I don’t think anybody anticipated the enormity and the spirit of it,” CBS executive producer Susan Zirinsky said of FNO, which was launched by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Vogue and NYC & Co. to fete the fashion industry and stimulate retail during the recession. “When discussions began, it became clear that FNO really was this fascinating event. While the country was bailing out everybody on Wall Street, nobody was really looking at fashion, retail and design, which constitutes a huge portion of the population.”

According to a Fashion’s Night Out statement, the program will look “beyond the glamour to the real-life implications at stake” by focusing “on the individuals working in all parts of the industry, from salespeople to design staff, for whom the vibrancy of the fashion business is a question of economic survival.”

Zirinsky said the event’s democratic nature, from new designers to iconic names as well as stores and products across all price tiers, made it a good subject for television, as did its goal to stimulate the economy and, ultimately, save industry jobs.

“When you can have a shared experience like FNO, it’s magic,” Zirinsky said. “It’s about supporting the economy and about the impact globally on so many jobs. People care about [FNO] and there is a reason to care about it, because of the economy, because it’s about an industry paying attention to what can impact a much larger strata of society.”

Zirinsky said the television aspect will add a new dimension to what was a successful launch last year.

“To be able to increase the visibility of an event like this on a national level is tremendous, because even though it already launched globally, I feel this will give people ideas for their own cities,” she said. “Being able to do a television show around it gives it that spark of life that may inspire, for instance, a mayor in Kokomo, Ind., to say, ‘What if we do this for our local retailers?’”

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