I know what you’re thinking right now. Yes, I do know that Fashion’s Night Out has already passed. That’s why it’s the perfect time to post my thoughts on how to survive it – while the
nightmare, er I mean fun and excitement of it is still fresh in my pre-frontal lobe. Here are some of my tips for successfully managing Fashion’s Night Out in New York City:
Wear sensible, but fashionable shoes – Since this is Fashion’s Night Out, naturally you should wear shoes that look nice and maybe incorporate some of the latest trends. However, wearing sensible (e.g., at least semi-comfortable) shoes is equally as important. You will likely be doing a lot of walking. Spending time in a car or taxi in traffic is a waste of the night. Wearing your brand new Louboutin’s is probably not smart, unless you are planning to plant yourself in a single store for the majority of the evening, there are many inebriated and overly joyous people around – they are clumsy and they spill things.
Choose your friends wisely – This is good advice on any day, but particularly during Fashion’s Night Out. This is not the time to invite a large group of friends for a girl’s night out. Your group of friends needs to be focused and lithe. Preferably, your friends know how to maneuver NYC and will not be distracted by minor celebrity sightings or random (normal) NYC oddities as this will just distract you from your mission. The friends that join you should either have similar shopping interests or be willing to follow behind as you lead the charge.
Bring your appetite - If there is anything during Fashion’s Night Out, there is a plethora of complimentary food and drink. If you are willing to spend a few minutes in line, this could be your opportunity to test the delicacies from some of the city’s more popular food trucks, like Rickshaw Dumpling, Treats Truck, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, etc. Sitting down at a restaurant during prime FNO hours is just a waste of time and money. Save the sitdown for a post-FNO debrief.
Avoid the main drags - Try to stay away from the main streets in any prime shopping area (e.g., Broadway in Soho, Fifth Avenue in Midtown). Walking on the main streets is akin to driving on a crowded highway – you are likely to encounter traffic moving in fits and starts; there are people rubber-necking; and focused on talking/texting rather than making forward progress. While the side streets are still quite busy, they are at least bearable.
Map out your path in advance - As much as you would like to think that you can cover every area of the city in one night, it’s not really possible. Choose your favorite store/event and get there before 6:00 pm. There is a good chance there will be a line. Getting there early will help ensure that you at least get to enjoy one of the top stores on your list. Then hit the other stores in that part of the city. If you are feeling lucky you may try to venture to one other area.
Be flexible - Although you may plan to go to Lanvin, MAC and Kate Spade, the crowds, and in some cases the police, may prevent you from doing so. Don’t stress, remember this is just Fashion’s Night Out. Relax, have fun and choose another destination. For example, my friends and I hadn’t originally planned to go to Joe’s Jeans, but ended up there. We spent a good 45 minutes sitting in the fitting room area and enjoying their complimentary Prosecco and mixed drinks. Thanks, Joe!
Don’t shop - I know I’m risking Anna Wintour sending out a stiletto hit squad to knock me off for uttering this statement. However, FNO is not a time for true shopping. There are too many lookie-loos, crowds, people who never get out, and the like to be focused on shopping. The salespeople are more focused on making sure no one spills on or steals merchandise to be concerned with getting the right size or answering styling questions. I recommend that you get into the city early, do your shopping and ask nicely if the salesperson will give you whatever gift with purchase or discount that will be offered later in the night. Plus, who wants to be bogged down with heavy shopping bags while they’re trying to have a cocktail?
Now, bookmark this post, commit these tips to memory or print them out, but I promise they will serve you well next year during Fashion’s Night Out!