After living here for a while, you sometimes forget how many amazing people live and work in New York City. When we walked into City Hall for the Fashion's Night Out kick-off press conference today, we went through security with Lisa Mayock from Vena Cava.
Then, we saw Anna Wintour walking ahead of us and Alex Wang suddenly appeared behind us. A few minutes later Marc Jacobs, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez walked in. After we were seated inside the press conference room, the following people (in addition to the aforementioned) surrounded the podium: Prabal Gurung, Zac Posen, Phillip Lim, Tracy Reese, Kenneth Cole, Donna Karan, Carolina Herrera, Tommy Hilfiger, Thakoon Panichgul, Marcus Wainwright from Rag & Bone, Francisco Costa, Vera Wang, Tory Burch, Steven Kolb, Linda Fargo, the Mayor...and after a few moments, we noticed tiny Mary-Kate Olsen peeking her head out behind Marc.
Then, unfortunately, we died and are thus unable to report anything else about Fashion's Night Out.
Just kidding - sort of. We tried our best to focus our attention on what Mayor Bloomberg, NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta and Saks, Inc. CEO Steve Sadove had to say about "New York City" and "The Fashion Industry" in between trying to get a better look at MK's outfit and monitoring Anna's facial expressions. Here's what we got:
- Bloomberg said of the designers standing behind him, whom he called the "definition of trendsetters": "If they say boot cut pants are back in style, then boot cut pants are back in style."
- In New York City, there are 175,000 jobs in the $10 billion retail and fashion industries.
- He got really metaphorical when discussing the CFDA fashion incubator, saying something about "sewing the seeds for the next generation of young designers."
- Saks, Inc. CEO Steve Sadove said the whole idea for Fashion's Night Out happened when he got a call from Anna about how we were in the depths of a recession and she was so worried about the fashion industry and what could they do to help revive it, etc. He then said that after Fashion's Night Out, retail sales actually improved and, direct quote, he "started to see people smile again."
- We were beginning to worry that the only people we were going to hear from were CEOs in suits until Marc, wearing a kilt and the shiniest earrings we've ever seen, took to the podium. Yay!
- He kept it short and sweet, telling a story of how it took him an hour to walk the couple blocks from his office to his Mercer Street store on last year's Fashion's Night Out because people kept stopping to talk to him on the way. Instead of being annoyed, he loved it. He was happy to see people getting off their computers and going out and interacting with each other because that's what he's always loved about New York.
- Then, the Mayor asked if anyone had any questions to ask
him about the fashion industry. Immediately, someone asked him some ridiculous question about the city's use of oil and energy that was not remotely relevant. The mayor smiled and gave a vague, slightly sarcastic answer and asked if anyone had any questions that have to do with fashion. Everyone smiled and laughed (including Anna).
- Someone did ask about the future of the garment district. Bloomberg basically said that if a designer needs huge machinery or needs to produce a million t-shirts in a short amount of time, New York City is not the place to do it. But if you're looking for talent, expertise, intelligence and artistic ability, this (NYC) is the place to find it. He then said that there are 500,000 people in New York whose jobs are "classified as manufacturing," though we're assuming most of those are involved with industries other than fashion and retail.
- Overall, everyone sounded very enthusiastic about and supportive of the fashion industry and Fashion's Night Out and making sure New York City remains the world's fashion capital.
In other Fashion's Night Out news, there are 950 participants currently registered to hold events throughout the five boroughs, already surpassing the participation level of last year's event.
NYC & Company, the city's marketing, tourism and partnership organization, has worked with more than 40 hotels to create packages for the month of September, offering exclusive FNO deals to travelers.
Tickets for "Fashion's Night Out: The Show" will go on sale to the public on Thursday, August 19 through the Lincoln Center Box Office, starting at a very reasonable $25.