While the Black Friday retail frenzy may soon be a relic of the past, people — more specifically, fashion people — are still holding onto their memories of the post-Thanksgiving rush of yore. So read on for a festive mix of warm and fuzzies, including Maiyet Creative Director Dylan Kearny's story of standing in line to buy Madonna's scandalous (at the time) "Sex" book, supermodel Liya Kebede's philanthropic reminder, and Lord & Taylor Fashion Director Stephanie Solomon's hilarious tale involving a toppling Christmas tree that's straight out of a Lifetime holiday movie.
And if you missed Harry Brant, Bryan Atwood and Marcia Patmos reminiscing about their best Black Friday moments, take a walk down memory lane here.
Allison Williams, Actress and Guest Editor, harper by Harper's Bazaar
"I'm always in my home in New Canaan, Connecticut still on Friday and I always watch the coverage from the safety and comfort of my home. I respect the people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get in there on Black Friday because you really can't beat the deals. However, e-commerce is Black Friday's best friend. Like now, my memory is going on Amazon first thing that morning to be like 'OK, what do we have?' That's a level of commitment to Christmas and bargain shopping that even in the times when I've really needed a bargain, I haven't been able to... You're still too sleepy from the Turkey. I'd walk into Best Buy and the sales would be sold out. I'd be like, 'what, 11 a.m. isn't an acceptable arrival for Black Friday?'"
Ariana Rockefeller, Fashion Designer
"The most civilized Black Friday I had was in 2013 when I did a trunk show in Palm Beach at interior designer Leta Austin Foster. Their offices are off Worth Avenue on Via Mizner, the most charming street on an island full of charming streets. No midnight mad dashes or mall traffic that day. Just some lovely ladies trying on dresses."
Cameron Silver, Fashion Director of H by Halston and Founder, Decades
"In the pre-Internet days, I would religiously check the Los Angeles Times for the announcements of sales in LA. Eventually I got wise and befriended sales associates who advised me on Black Friday pre-shopping. Nowadays everyday is Black Friday between sample sales and VIP discounts so I find myself always in the red. Being in NYC so much for H by Halston is dangerous for my wallet."
Caroline Gogolak, Co-Founder, Carbon38
"I don't have the best memories of Black Friday growing up. The idea of shopping the day after Thanksgiving and dealing with the people and the lines was not of interest to my mom who usually took us shopping. I don't blame her. But in comes e-commerce and Net-a-Porter. With that, you will find me scouring the site and loading my shopping cart. My Black Friday is spent on the couch clicking away."
Declan Kearney, Creative Director, Maiyet
"The only time I woke super early to be online to buy something was when I was in college. I saved for a few weeks, set my alarm and ended up first in line at the Virgin Megastore to buy Madonna's "Sex" book. It made the first page of the newspaper, clearly it was a slow news day!"
Diane Gilman, Fashion Designer, DG2 by Diane Gilman
"The day after Thanksgiving, a famous high-end department store throws a sale on steroids. By the time I got to the fifth floor, there were so many people shopping the floor was shaking! When two women beside me broke out in hand-to-hand combat (pushing, grabbing, pulling, screaming and hitting) over a fur jacket that was my exit call. I was trying to hail a taxi when suddenly a car coming towards me careened up on the sidewalk right in front of me. Out came a petite woman beaming ear-to-ear. She said, 'Diane, I am your biggest fan! I just love you and DG2… today is my first day out after open heart surgery and seeing you makes me know I am going to be okay!' She asked if we could take pictures together on the sidewalk. I met her entire family (seated in the car) and shed a few tears with her. That was the most heartfelt, unexpected Black Friday any designer could ever have."
Isa Tapia, President, Isa Tapia
"I remember one year I was stuck in a snowstorm and made my first e-shopping purchase. It was kind of an aha! moment when I realized how much the world is going to change. How online shopping would become the way I buy my groceries, meals and outfits."
Katie Warner Johnson, Co-Founder, Carbon38
"When we launched officially on the 4th of November in 2013. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving rolled around and Caroline [Gogolak] and I looked at each other and said, 'huh, maybe we should do something for Black Friday.' So Caroline designed an email, I created a coupon code in the backend and then we both went our separate ways for the holiday. Friday evening rolls around and I decide to pull up our sales from the day and I fell over. We had hit our projected month of sales in one day. I flew back from holiday early to get a head start on packaging all of our orders. I think I folded spandex for 72 hours straight and wheeled the orders in batches to the UPS store in a red wagon. #startup."
Kimberly McDonald, Jewelry Designer
"I'm immediately thinking of a 3 a.m. New York City Macy's shopping excursion with my eight-year-old sidekick, who was visiting from out of town and had never been. She woke up and didn't want to go back to sleep, so we went shopping! Not to toot my own horn, but I have always been the fun, and a bit crazy, Auntie Mame."
Law Roach, Celebrity Stylist to Zendaya, Willow Shields and Ruby Rose
"My grandfather used to stand in line by himself and let us sleep in the car. When it was almost time for the stores to open, he would signal to my grandmother to get us ready. When the doors opened, we would run in and go straight to the toy section. For us, it was just like Christmas Day. They also let us eat ice cream for breakfast. Now I avoid Black Friday like the plague, but it's nice to have those warm memories."
Liya Kebede, Model and Founder of lemlem
"During the holiday season it is easy to get caught up in the buying frenzy but I think it is so important to remember to give back. A Black Friday tradition that we have started at lemlem is combining Black Friday with Giving Tuesday and contributing a percentage of the lemlem.com proceeds to The Liya Kebede Foundation, which helps promote maternal health in Africa."
Lori Bergamotto, Style Director, Good Housekeeping
"Black Friday was basically a holiday in my family — a holiday we observed, as every good New Jerseyan did, at our local mall. I would watch my mom in awe as she mentally checked off her gift list. She was like a shopping ninja — stealthily finding the best merch and unearthing the maximum discount, but never getting involved with the elbow-throwing crowds."
Maya Brenner, Jewelry Designer
"Since I have an online retail jewelry shop, Black Friday is usually stressful and busy for us. But I also like to give my employees that Thursday and Friday off, so it doesn't always make for a stress-free holiday. It's a lot of remote checking that everything is running smoothly."
Michelle Tan, Editor-in-Chief, Seventeen
"We all gather in the living room in our PJs with our respective computers or tablets at our fingertips and start scouring sites for sales. My mom and I will cost compare dresses we like on Nordstrom.com while my brother and husband discuss the denim on jcrew.com. Then when someone calls out '25% off your entire purchase at Saks!' we all open a new window and start the deep dive into the site together. I imagine it’s like working at the NY Stock Exchange except we only yell 'Buy! Buy! Buy!'"
Monica Wise, Founder, L*Space by Monica Wise
"My friend and I woke up early to hit the stores at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. It took us 40 minutes to find a parking space! Being a sucker for punishment, we decided to venture to four different shopping locations after that just to ensure we wouldn't have to shop again for the rest of the season. Between elbow jabs and people not respecting our personal space amongst the crowds, we ended up returning home completely exhausted, at 10 p.m. that night. Since then, I've learned my lesson and have online shopped on this day since."
Pamela Love, Jewelry Designer, Pamela Love
"One of my earliest Black Friday memories was when my father took me to the mall the Friday after Thanksgiving, so that he could get a new TV at a discount. It was very overwhelming, but he left with that new TV in hand. I've enjoyed the rise in online shopping — whether it's on Thanksgiving or Cyber Monday since it allows me to shop on my own hours, from the comfort of my home. What I think is most important, however, is giving back. That's why this year, Pamela Love Jewelry has partnered with eBay and the CFDA to create a capsule collection, which will launch on Giving Tuesday (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving). The proceeds from the sales from this collection will go to Fashion Targets Breast Cancer."
Sarah Flint, Shoe Designer
"My Mom's number-one rule about Black Friday was to shop online only, so I've gotten really good at shopping in my PJs. I do, however, have my own rule about shopping in crowds… wear comfy flats!"
Stefani Greenfield, owner, My Next Act, Brand Consulting and Creative Brand Director, Diane von Furstenberg
"My husband and I have a secret obsession with the tailgate party at Toys"R"Us for pre-game Black Friday. Each year, on our Thanksgiving night drive back to New York City, we exit the Long Island Expressway and park across the street from Toys"R"Us. We watch with joy and bewilderment at the fabulous families who are waiting to score big for the holidays."
Stephanie Solomon, Fashion Director, Lord & Taylor
"I've worked in retail for over 30 years and have seen 'it all' when it comes to Black Friday. Traditionally, or rather, back in the day, Black Friday was a day where every person who worked for that retailer had to work on the floor — it didn't matter which department you were from or what corporate level, it was important to experience the day from the sales floor. One story in particular comes to mind when I think back on all my years working on Black Friday. It was when my son was just five years old, and unfortunately I wasn't able to get a babysitter that year. So, I decided to bring him to the store.
My station assignment that year was the Christmas tree shop, and I thought to myself, oh great, this is perfect — Spencer will have fun here. So after shuffling our way through the store, we finally made it to the shop. A customer approaches me and is asking for help, so I turn my back to Spencer for one second and low and behold he reached up to tug on a little part of the tree, and the entire thing comes crashing down! Shattered ornaments, lights all tangled, etc. — it was such a sight. Next thing I know, the store manager is rushing over to me and says, 'Stephanie, you're free to go home. Don't worry, you'll get credit for being here.' And so Spencer and I headed home. It was quite funny and certainly a memory I'll have for many Black Fridays to come."
Will Adler, Founder, Will Leather Goods
"My fondest Black Friday memories were spent with my father who was a buyer of men's clothing for Hughes and Hatchers Department Store in Detroit. My father, brother and I would get up early in the morning on Black Friday and go to the local deli where we would buy 100-plus sandwiches. We would then spend the whole day visiting every Hughes and Hatchers store in the Detroit Metro area (about 15 stores) handing out these sandwiches and saying hello to the sales associates who worked on the floor. This simple gesture earned my father a lot of respect among the sales staff and allowed him to become a coach and champion of success in the business."
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