Whether you loved it or hated it, Fashion's Night Out will not be returning in the U.S. this year.
According to WWD, sponsors of the event--Vogue, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and NYC & Co--made the joint decision to put the annual event on hiatus for 2013, the first time since it began in 2009.
Instead, designers and retailers will be encouraged to focus the budgets that would have been funneled into one massive FNO event into projects and events that are better suited to their specific objectives. So don't mourn the loss of free cupcakes and champagne just yet: Designers and retailers still see the benefit of throwing celeb and swag-filled events, but have learned from FNO that it doesn't need to be all on one night. Instead, they'll plan to have promotional events with celeb appearances throughout the year.
We've wondered in the past whether Fashion's Night Out actually helps sales, and reported on the backlash from designers, particularly smaller, independent ones who don't have massive event budgets. It seems these factors were at least part of the reason why the event's sponsors decided not to stage it this year.
Asked whether the event generated money, CFDA CEO Steven Kolb said, "I don’t think the success of it was measured only by numbers or money, but was really about engagement."
He added that FNO grew way beyond what organizers ever imagined--a fact which perhaps made it a little less manageable for designers and retailers. That being said, though, both Kolb and Mayor Michael Bloomberg agreed the event achieved its objective, reinvigorating retail during the height of the recession in 2009 and beyond.
"Everyone feels we had a great four years," Kolb said. "It brought a lot of attention to retail, to fashion’s important place in retail. Everyone feels really proud of what we accomplished, and excited to take those lessons and continuing them throughout the year.”
Kolb added that the organizers will continue to support the NYC AIDS Fund, which the Fashion's Night Out event raised $1 million for.
Conde Nast International confirmed to the trade that the event will go ahead as usual this year in 19 other countries, including Thailand and Ukraine, which will be hosting it for the first time.