Nothing is garnering more media attention than Fashion's Night Out. Not the Oscars, the MTV Music Awards, New York Fashion Week, Snooki. Nothing. When we look at what drove Anna Wintour to devise one of the greatest marketing plans on Earth, we see at the core, a beautiful, well-intended, generous, spirited gem of an idea. "Bring people back to the stores." Funny, that when George Bush said the same thing after 9-11, that people should just "Go Shopping," it was met with mixed emotions. Actually, Democrats were apoplectic. But if you think about it...it was a good idea. When is retail therapy not a good idea? Sometimes Democrats really need to get their heads out of their keesters because shopping is way more fun that rallying around sensitive issues. When Bushy again suggested that we "Go Shopping" in 2006 when the economy started dipping -- a.k.a. before the world as we know it changed -- it was met with jeers and upturned noses about how out of touch he was with the people. In my many years on Earth, seems to me that most presidents are out of touch with the people. Politicians are not my touchstone of reality. Shopping is. Because when you are shopping, you are in a transcendental state of bliss and joy. This time is dedicated solely to you. Who cares what war is on, or how unattended our borders are, or whether gays can get married in California? I love that jacket and I need it now!
On the pre-eve of Fashion's Night Out, I am overwhelmed at the amount of options there are for consumers to experience. My one question is, why can't retailers do this more than once a year? OK, maybe not as full scale tilt as this one -- but celebrating and shopping seems like something that makes sense to do year round. I know there are endless efforts at retail to promote foot traffic -- but there is something special in the Fashion's Night Out air that really works. That "Anna Touch" is something that is really hard to pin point or bottle. (And I know Ms. Wintour has enough sense not to create Anna...the Fragrance). The Second Annual Fashion Night Out will bring throngs of people to Bloomingdale's, Meatpacking District, Noho, Soho, Boho (does that even exist?), Madison Avenue, Fifth Avenue, 57th Street, Bleecker Street, Saks, and...I'm there. Yup, I am literally going to every single Fashion's Night Out event, donning my Balenciaga Army Boots and marching up and down the city streets peeping my head in every venue that is listed on the Fashion's Night Out website. And on September 11, in honor of the fallen, I will be still and solemn for Fashion's Night In.
Follow Abe Gurko on Twitter: www.twitter.com/imeanwhat