Fashion Night Out
Fashion Night Out
 
Fashion Night Out will go on hiatus in the US this year and we’re not surprised.
 
WWD reported that Vogue, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and NYC & Co. made the join decision to only stage events in select international cities. Citing that “designers and retailers found that they have had to invest more and more of their resources to maintain a high level of quality”, rumors about canceling the September event had been circulating for some time. 
 
The truth is, events like this take a massive time to plan and implement. And we should know – as the founders of City Stimulus, the first city-wide event focused on stimulating locally owned retail shops, bars, cafes, and restaurants in Seattle.
 
Launched nearly a year before the first Fashion Night Out, we donated our time and resources to produce two events in the height of the recession. Much like the larger national campaign, City Stimulus focused on neighborhoods with density so that patrons could easily shop, eat, and drink together as they rediscovered the benefits of brick-and-mortar locations.  Keep in mind that in 2008 and 2009 the showrooming trend had started to gain momentum but, many retailers had not invested in eCommerce. 
 
    City Stimulus
 
What made City Stimulus different from Fashion Night Out was our ability to track participation and embrace digital culture. To join, users downloaded a free membership by submitting their email address, allowing us to better understand purchase intent against actual sales and to communicate directly with our users to build social media awareness.
 
Additionally, we launched our first event during the Holidays, when shopping was top of mind for consumers, and we focused on smaller locations that did not have the budgets to compete with national brands.  Furthermore, each participating business had to create an offer specific to the needs of their business to publish on our website.
 
Our data from the two events is as follows: 
 
December 2008 (4day event):
  • Website traffic: 8,200+ visits and 26,000+ page views from 26 countries and 46 states
  • Unique membership downloads: 1500+
  • Media: 20 sources including blogs, newspaper, radio, & TV.
 
July 2009 (7day event): 
  • Website traffic: 6,500+ visits and 12,000+ page views from 30 countries and 46 states
  • Unique membership downloads: 1700+
  • Media exposure: 22 sources including prominent radio, TV, blogs, & newspapers.
 
Unfortunately, as we started to pat ourselves on the back for a successful “passion project”, the focus on shopping small was outweighed by price. Our member survey found that only 29.1% of restaurant guests and 24% of retail customers were “very satisfied” with the offer pricing. When asked what improvements we could make to City Stimulus, people were already in a Groupon mindset: 67.3% of participants wanted coupons to use anytime (not just during an event) and 43.6% of participants wanted the ability to shop online – something contrary to our mission to create community around brick-and-mortar locations.  To quote one respondent “More interesting offers - 10% off didn't make me want to get off the couch.”
 
It’s no wonder that Fashion Night Out is on hiatus. Retailers and restaurants have moved away from non-mobile friendly web platforms like flash, eCommerce is thriving, and tablets are giving customers the opportunity to shop where and when they want.  Brands and designers don’t see value in giveaways, celebrity appearances, and free sparkling wine as part of a massive street festival. 
 
The loyal will shop regardless. But to ignore price or technology is to ignore today's environment.
 
Fashion's Night Out
For the third year in a row, designers, brands, retail stores and celebrities will gather tonight to take part in exclusive events. Here's a quick list of where to find the most Fashion's Night Out bang for your buck.
 
- View the official event listing here.
- With most cities participating on September 8th, the annual event is starting to take on a much bigger role outside of the US. Check out details on the global after-hours shopping extravaganza.
- Refinery29's ultimate NYC guide to combat FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) syndrome.
- Check out Opening Ceremony NYC carnival market inspired by the festive spirit of Argentina at the Ace Hotel.
- Is shameless celeb-spotting or a healthy scavenger hunt more your style? Click here.
- Fueling the men$wear shopping trend, Gilt Man has put together a list of the seven spots in NYC worth checking out (hint- one Mercer Street store that will be offering lobster rolls).

CULTURE

- The Alexander McQueen retrospective that just opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is the Costume Institute's most popular exhibition ever.
- Guerrilla gardening goes mainstream with the Kabloom SeedBom.

FASHION
- Missoni is the next brand to partner with Target on a 400 piece collection to debut September 13, 2011. We predict a NYC event and/or pop-up to coincide with Fashion Week & Fashion Night Out.
- Catch the London Olympics fever before the Anglomania trend peeks: Stella McCartney unveils adidas Olympic collection in fashion film.

FOOD
- The Southern California companies that outfit and customize catering trucks (or lease them out) enjoy a boom as the food truck trend spreads throughout the country.
- Innovative punches that will make your Granny blush.
- Startup Tabbedout, a platform that allows you to pay your restaurant or bar tab with a smartphone, has raised $3.7 million in additional funding from New Enterprise Associates to complete the company’s Series A round of venture funding, totaling $5.75 million.

Based in Brooklyn, Market Publique aims to attract premium sellers and buyers of vintage fashion via auction sales and fixed prices. Potential sellers fill out an application form before joining and once a seller is accepted, there's a USD 0.25 charge per listed item, plus a 5% commission fee for each sale.
 

{photos: Market Publique}
 
By focusing on one niche and creating an appealing storefront for carefully selected vendors, Market Publique takes the standard online marketplace model and makes it more attractive and reliable for both buyers and sellers.
 

In addition to an online presence, Market Publique opened a pop-up retail store for Fashion Night Out that highlighted its fall collection. Here's a recap of the event.

{source/ spotted by: Bonnie Sandy via Springwise.com}

 
{image: Glamour.com}
 
 
Need a little pick-me-up sugar high while you preview fashion week and celebrate Fashion Night out?
 
For Fashion Week, Glamour Magazine is taking the food truck frenzy to the next level of marketing & promotion by driving around in a big pink truck handing out free cupcakes. The schedule, should you find yourself in need, is as follows:

6:00pm to 6:30: Berdorf Goodman
6:50pm to 8:30: Barneys New York
9:00pm to 9:30: Wooster and general Soho (Adidas Store/Juicy Store area)
10:00pm to 11: Meatpacking District

{sources: NYTimes / Eater NY}