Last Friday shopaholics the world over turned out in droves to celebrate fashion at its most accessible level for the second annual Fashion’s Night Out. This year, in the spirit of inspiring splurges the world over, FNO was held in cities from here to Turkey and back-including the Capital of the South, Atlanta.
Every department store, specialty shop, and boutique in town pulled out all the stops in an effort to bring in revelers keen on parting with their hard earned cash. Local celebrities, from Chili of TLC to an Atlanta Housewife or two, were even enlisted to give shoppers the opportunity to rub elbows with a few important people. From Mychael Knight, of Project runway fame, launching his new “recession proof” dress to champagne, Krispy Kreme, and burlesque at Jeffrey, no red-carpet was left unrolled. However in the midst of all the bottle popping, cameras snapping, and constant small talk, I noticed that while the revelers were plenty the shopping bags were few. As I moved from Saks to Jeffrey to Intermix and worked my way around Phipps Plaza, I could count the amount of people holding bags that were filled with stuff they actually paid for despite the fact that every store was packed. Knowing that I tend to be a bit oblivious to things that do not directly concern me, I quickly checked my most trusted news source, Twitter, to confirm that all about town people were partying but not really shopping. (Actually a tweet by a certain PR mama wolf turned reality star turned guru for all aspiring power chicks confirmed a lack of shopping bags in NYC as well.) All of this would be fine if the entire point of Fashion’s Night Out was to not stimulate the retail industry in a down economy.
With or without me, and everyone else, purchasing upwards of $100 to get a “free” gift Fashion’s Night Out first spin in Atlanta was admirable to say the least. Like I said, the drinks were flowing, DJs were spinning, and I was able to try on a sick D&G leather jacket without pretending that I had any intention of buying it. The moral of my Fashion’s Night Out experience is this, you can bribe a crowd into your store but Louboutin’s are still $500+.
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