Let's just call it "Trick Or Treating," fashion style! Myself, my friends, and thousands of other fashionistas hit the streets of New York last night for the first ever Fashion's Night Out. While the purpose of the evening was ostensibly shopping, the reality became cruising for food, booze and the best celebrity sightings ever. Herewith, a brief selection of my faves:
-Anna. Wintour. In. Macy's. In Queens. 'Nuf said, but I have to add: the crowd was nearly emotional! It was beautiful to see.
-A Dancing Diane von Fürstenberg at her DVF store. Girlfriend has moves!
-Tory Burch mingling with young fans outside her store.
-Stumbling upon a private invite-only dinner at the chic restaurant within the Emporio Armani store on Fifth Avenue. A-listers included Bruce Willis, Kerry Washington and Genevieve Jones.
-The Chanel store on 57th playing rapper Lil Wayne's music on full blast!
-Tiffany's blue carpet laid out for shoppers. It was dirty and brownish by the time I walked on it, but still felt oh so posh!
Yet my favorite sighting was simply this: seeing shoppers happy for the first time in a long time. There was an infectious, delirious, pervasive joy I haven't seen in the streets since the night Barack Obama won. Chalk it up to the unlimited glasses of free Prosecco being doled out, but it was beautiful none the less.
The reality is, from stores like Prada to Armani to Diesel to Levi's, there's a certain level of intimidation (no matter how unintended) that is felt by customers. This dissipated completely last night. Shoppers - of all backgrounds - clearly felt comfortable, excited and most importantly welcomed in these stores. The jury is still out on whether FNO did anything to boost sales, but regardless it has triumphed in a much more nuanced - and in my opinion, significant - way: making retail real again.
Read more from Zandile on her daily fashion blog, The Blay Report.