2009-09-16 / Front Page

Fashion Night Starts In Queens

BY GEORGINA YOUNG-ELLIS

(L. to r.): Macy's Inc. Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Terry J. Lundgren, Fashion Designer Diane von Furstenberg, Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Actress Kate Hudson, Fashion Designer Michael Kors; behind them, cast members of the revival of the Broadway show "Hair". (L. to r.): Macy's Inc. Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Terry J. Lundgren, Fashion Designer Diane von Furstenberg, Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Actress Kate Hudson, Fashion Designer Michael Kors; behind them, cast members of the revival of the Broadway show "Hair". An excited crowd gathered at Macy's in Queens Center Mall at 5 p.m. on September 10 for the kick off of Fashion's Night Out in New York City. A staging area had been set up in the women's section of the store, between the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger displays with a roped-off walkway for the entrance of the fashion elite. The CEO of Macy's Inc., Terry Lundgren, was the first to take the stage to announce that Queens was the starting point of the evening's celebration. Fashion's Night Out would then travel to each borough in order to stress that the fashion industry, the second most powerful in the city, reaches beyond Manhattan. "It's about celebrating the industry, from the smallest boutiques to the largest department stores," Lundgren declared. He then introduced two of the evening's luminaries, fashion designer Michael Kors and actress Kate Hudson, stunning in a decidedly red carpet worthy gold dress. Kors subsequently presented the cast of "Hair", declaring, "When I saw this show, it blew my mind!"

The vibrant Broadway cast, sporting Fashion's Night Out tee shirts, lived up to the praise, giving the entranced crowd "The Age of Aquarius", "Hair", and the '60s anthem, "Let the Sunshine In". The enthusiasm of the actors was infectious, as audience members young and old alike joined in to sing.

After the performance, Vogue Editor Anna Wintour, designer Diane Von Furstenberg, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined the others on stage for photos. All but the mayor then exited among flashing bulbs, smiles and peace signs while he remained to thank the crowd and the cast of "Hair". "I first saw the show back in the 1960s, and I had a lot more hair back then," he quipped. He admitted as well that he was no slave to fashion: "I'm wearing one of my 10 gray suits," he said. However, he praised the fashion industry as being an economic backbone of New York City, noting that the city boasts more fashion companies than Paris. He thanked the Council of Fashion Designers of America, NYC and Company, and American Vogue, the sponsors of Fashion's Night Out. He also gave credit to Wintour and Von Furstenberg, the masterminds behind the idea of keeping stores open for the evening's festivities.

"The fashion and retail industries support 175,000 jobs and $10 billion in wages and are vital for the city's economy and longterm growth," Bloomberg added. "Fashion's Night Out gives New Yorkers the opportunity to support local retailers while enjoying our world-class shopping and the enthusiasm that fills the city during Fashion Week."

Fashion's Night Out took place at more than 800 participating retail stores across the five boroughs, which stayed open until 11 p.m. It featured in-store celebrations and promotions, including fashion shows, giveaways, charity tie-ins, model and celebrity appearances, parties with food and drink, live music and DJs, makeovers, product launches, raffles and more. The event was tied to the city's Fall Fashion Week, which began Friday, September 10.

Forty percent of the proceeds from the sale of Fashion's Night Out tee shirts will go toward the National September 11th Memorial and Museum, and can be purchased at participating retailers, listed on www.fashionsnightout.com. Bloomberg reiterated the objective in his final words to the audience before leaving for other stores in other boroughs. "Shop and remember…".

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