On the opening night to the fashion world's biggest week, Fashion Night Out turns the streets of New York City into runways, the neighborhoods into the most trendy block parties and the stores into music venues. With celebs like Helen Mirren, Dwayne Wade, Justin Bieber, the Kardashians, Beth Ditto, Anna Wintour and even the enigmatic Banksy running around, you never know who you will be rubbing shoulders with. With everything open to the public, it's a free-for-all adventure through fashion and what the latest trends will be with the attention on every store trying to outdo their competition as to who will deliver the best party and attract the most faces. With name DJs supplying the soundtrack to each venue and free alcohol flowing like water, the choices as to what to do can be intense and overwhelming.
My night was made simple as the British buzz band, The Heartbreaks (and a band I have tipped to be one of the "15 Artists to Break in 2011") were flown in from Burberry to play at their SoHo flagship store and coincidentally would be the bands first American gig. I caught up with the lads from the tiny town of Morcombe who were wide-eyed about their maiden voyage to the city. "I am just thrilled to be in the city that gave us The Shang-Ri-La's and The Ronnetts!" bassist Deaks told me as I met with the band before their big gig. The band played two sets at the Burberry store to a packed audience who were curious to see a live band rather than someone spinning records. "Just last week were all crammed in a small room sleeping and recording together, now we have been put up at Tribeca Grand, I just can't believe this!" singer Matthew Whitehouse told me. Funny enough, Whitehouse is also a Burberry model, so the pairing of such a great brand and band was just inevitable.
The excitement the boys of The Heartbreaks had was displayed in the two 20-minute sets they played at Burberry. Set number one was as if they were their own opening act, showing off their sound and style to the audience who were fascinated with this new band. "This song went to number 482 on the Billboard 500 here, we are very excited to play it," Whitehouse told the audience before they broke into the catchy "Jealous, Don't You Know." The sound of The Heartbreaks is very British, so it was only fitting that Burberry was their debut performance. They are four very dapper gentlemen who make fantastic Britpop meets surf rock chic of music. While set one saw them introduce themselves, it was their second set that really had them cooking. With champagne flowing in the crowd and the band really breaking out of their shells, it was then that they had arrived in perfect fashion. "It is not really a proper gig, but it's cool," drummer Joseph Kondras told me after the gig. "We are really excited to hopefully come back now after we put our record out, we can't wait to get the record out," he continued. The Heartbreaks trip to New York City was short-lived but the excited and wide-eyed band will return home with their heads held up high. They are currently in the studio recording their debut with Frank Turner's producer Tristan Ivemy. The record is expected to be released in March and from the sound of it already, they should get used to being spoiled and having big things come their way.