Fashion’s Big Party

0820fashionnight.gifSo the big question is: Was Fashion’s Night Out the stimulus package for retail we’d hoped for, or was it a bust?

We might not have a good answer to that question for some time to come – at least until the sales numbers come in, but probably much longer. Certainly it brought a lot of attention to fashion retailers and designers. A lot of people came out to the shops. Maybe fashion is more approachable, maybe it’s been introduced to a whole new audience. But on the immediate impact, reviews are mixed.

One Huffington Post blogger declares the whole thing a bust. But are a few anecdotes about how he didn’t see much buying really a strong verdict? This San Fransisco Chronicle blogger, on the other hand, seems quite pleased with the result: “Registers busily rang up revelers’ purchases, and a few lingered well past closing time.” Certainly the promise that this event wasn’t about discounts or sales (lest the fashion industry be cheapened) didn’t pan out.

Fashion’s Night Out in London sounds like it was a blast. But again, where’s the buying? The New York Time agrees. This is a long haul, and a single shot to the arm isn’t going to fix things. But it shows that the fashion industry is ready to think creatively about rebuilding its market, and it shows that people are ready to give it another chance. And that’s a big part of the battle.

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