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New York Times critic Cathy Horyn has made it pretty clear that she does not like Fashion's Night Out. In fact, it's safe to say she just about hates it. Last year, she said, "I don't want it to continue," and added, "What are you really celebrating? Not art or great books. You're celebrating shopping."
This morning, she tells us how she really feels with a write up detailing her qualms, and begins the argument with this:
F.N.O. was a good idea when it began, back in the depths of the recession when stores were virtually empty. But now it's become a party, an institutionalized kickoff to Fashion Week, and though it apparently raises money for some causes, I have to believe that the costs of security, crowd control and entertainment, not to mention the traffic headaches, outweigh the actual benefits.
She goes on to explain that the idea made sense when Fashion's Night Out was started in 2009 when retailers needed a boost. But now that things seem to be leveling out, and stores like Macy's and Ralph Lauren are planning to raise profit outlooks, she doesn't really see the point in continuing. We imagine, though, that this argument of not needing to boost sales because sales have been boosted is probably the exact opposite of what retailers are thinking. Keep boostin'!
On a recent shopping trip that included J.Crew and Barneys, Horyn noticed just how well everyone seems to be doing: "The stores I visited have a far better selection of styles than they did last year at this time. By better I mean smart and fashionable, not safe. The stores were also crowded with serious shoppers, and, no, not all of them were tourists."
So it comes down to a tough question: Forgo a retail revenue-generating event that's more like a party because things seem to be coming along nicely for stores? Or continue to trek out to Meatpacking and Soho in the complete and utter chaos, with no chance of getting cellphone service, to see the kids of Glee sing about stuff and watch a designer dog show at Bergdorf? The choice is yours.
· It’s a Street Party (or Fashion's Night Out) [NYT]
· All the Major Details for this Year's Fashion's Night Out, Revealed [Racked NY]
· Cathy Horyn Hates Fashion's Night Out; Karl Lagerfeld Hates Reading [Racked NY]