Hopefully you had fun at last year’s Fashion’s Night Out because it’s not happening this year, at least in the United States. After 4 years of the event, FNO will go on hiatus this year.
Fashion’s Night Out launched in 2009 when the economy was suffering through the worst of the recession. It was intended to encourage shopping at a time when New York City needed a boost in its economy the most. There was a great response to the event, with many customers stopping by stores to shop, to get free goodies, or to try to meet a designer or celebrity. FNO was held again in 2010, 2011, and 2012. By last year, it was being held in 500 cities within the U.S. as well as in 30 cities around the world.
Fashion’s Night Out became known as a “big party” or a “street festival,” but the businesses behind it began to wonder whether or not they were actually making money by participating. They hoped that all the excitement surrounding their stores on that one night in September would keep drawing customers in once the event was over, but this wasn’t necessarily the case.
Each consecutive year that FNO happened, designers and retailers found that they were investing more and more time and money into planning a huge bash. It was straining their budgets and putting extra pressure on designers who were already busy planning their shows for New York Fashion Week. These worries led the sponsors of FNO – Vogue, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and NYC & Co. – to put Fashion’s Night Out on hiatus.
These organizations are encouraging designers and retailers to put the money previously used for FNO events towards other events focused on their own objectives. CFDA CEO Steven Kolb says FNO “was really about engagement” and that it brought attention to “fashion’s important place in retail.” He’s hoping the lessons learned from Fashion’s Night Out will be utilized throughout the year as retailers sponsor designer appearances or other promotional events spread out over the coming months rather than all in the same night.
Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, also lauded the benefits of FNO by reflecting on the effect the fashion industry has on the city. He stated, “Fashion’s Night Out brought great energy, optimism and enthusiasm to the city’s retailers, who make up a thriving part of our economy. We can always count on fashion industry leaders to use their creativity and savvy to benefit New York City — whether they are helping us recover from a national recession, a natural disaster or whatever the next challenge may be.”
In addition to boosting the city’s economy, Fashion’s Night Out also benefited the New York City AIDS Fund. The event raised over $1.5 million for the fund over the past 4 years. Kolb insists this fundraising in the fashion world will continue in other ways.
As for Fashion’s Night Out events held around the world, Condé Nast International confirmed that the celebrations will continue outside of the United States. International editions of Vogue have also been sponsoring FNO for the past 4 years and 19 countries will participate again this year, including Thailand and Ukraine, who will be hosting Fashion’s Night Out for the first time.