NEW YORK — If there was any real news from the press conference to unveil this year’s Fashion’s Night Out at City Hall on Wednesday, it was that, unlike its European peers, the American fashion industry does not go on break in August.
Standing behind the podium where Mayor Michael Bloomberg kicked off a series of speeches, the group of designers and industry executives included Tory Burch, Tommy Hilfiger, Francisco Costa, Donna Karan, Tracy Reese, Kenneth Cole, Zac Posen, Terry Lundgren, Carolina Herrera, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, Vera Wang, Mary-Kate Olsen and Prabal Gurung (whom the mayor repeatedly referred to as “Prooble”).
Sitting in the audience were Thakoon Panichgul, Alexander Wang, Phillip Lim and a few others, and they listened to the mayor offer some anecdotes about the launch event last year and outline details of the Sept. 10 event. “Our administration is committed to doing whatever it takes to make sure this industry continues to thrive,” the mayor said.
“This September, [New York Fashion Week] will for the first time be at its new home at Lincoln Center,” he added. “We think this new location will give fashion week the space to grow and flourish, and cement its reputation as a premier global event. We want to make sure the entire city reaps the benefits, and that’s why last year we started Fashion’s Night Out.”
And the City of New York, Vogue, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and NYC & Company are hoping to make it even bigger this year. So far, almost 1,000 stores have signed up to participate in Fashion’s Night Out and, once again, they have committed to keeping their doors open until 11 p.m.
For the first time, the event will feature Fashion’s Night Out: The Show, the city’s largest-ever public fashion show scheduled on Sept. 7 at Lincoln Center, with tickets starting at $25 going on sale on Aug. 19 at the Lincoln Center box office and proceeds benefitting the NYC AIDS Fund. According to the mayor, cbs.com will live-stream the runway show. The network will also present an hour-long prime-time special on Sept. 14 about the making of the event.
Marc Jacobs and Saks Inc. chairman and chief executive officer Stephen I. Sadove recalled the first run.
“Thousands of customers showed up in our stores and all the other stores,” Sadove said. “They came and they had fun. Designers showed up, and celebrities came. It became a celebration of what fashion is all about.”
Jacobs recalled how challenged he was traveling between his Spring Street and Mercer Street boutiques that night. “It took me about two hours to get down two blocks because I was stopped every single minute by people who were out on the street for Fashion’s Night Out,” he said. “It felt like a block party, and it felt like a sense of community and it felt like what I think fashion and shopping is all about — a social ritual people enjoy.”
Bloomberg said the event is a major addition to the New York calendar. “I don’t think people understand how competitive the world is today — for business, for tourists, for people to get an education,” he said. “We have to be out there spreading the word about what’s good for New York and what is good here in New York.”