News & Runway

Fashion’s Night Out NYC 2012: The Scene From Uptown to Downtown

My Fashion’s Night Out started around 5:30 PM. I left my apartment and made my way to Madison Avenue and 63rd Street where a good friend of mine was helping to prepare J. Mendel’s event. It was relatively quiet and I noticed signs outside a number of stores that read that they were closed until 5:30/6:00 in preparation for the night’s festivities – which brings up the oft mentioned complaint that retail outlets end up spending a lot of money on FNO for minimal immediate return and questionable long-term return.

After ogling some gowns at J. Mendel, I headed a couple blocks north to Tom Ford’s boutique where they were debuting his new men’s fragrance, Noir, and serving champagne and small bites. The scent is so fantastic that not only would I, as a woman, wear it myself, but it put me in such a good mood that I didn’t even mind the insane amounts of people traffic that I was about to encounter. And, I'm claustrophobic.

After leaving the civilized Ford quarters, I walked down Madison Avenue only to encounter hoards upon hoards of people – particularly around the DKNY store. Interestingly enough, most of the time when I asked people what they were waiting in line for, they had no idea. Things only got more chaotic once I arrived in Soho. Cops were sprinkled all over and there were lines seemingly everywhere. Despite the crowds, there seemed to be less excitement in the streets than in years past and most of the people I spoke with said they were disappointed in the events and “lack of free booze” (something I repeatedly heard).

It’s also worth noting that the crowds roaming around Madison veered towards the dolled-up side with many women looking like they were heading to cocktail events. Downtown the vibe was, perhaps fittingly, more fashion-forward and casual. The Meatpacking District offered a bit of both styles and a welcome mix of events. You had Solange Knowles drawing a huge crowd at DVF; Alexa Chung attracted a sizable one of her own at Moschino, and fun pop-ups from QVC, Maybelline, and Target as well as an outdoor food/fashion market each had lines of their own. While many may have complained that this year was not as exciting as years past, it's hard to argue with the appeal of shopping late at night and much of the people watching, whether uptown or downtown, was priceless.