The Observer positively loathes the yearly shopping-and-style populist event known as Fashion’s Night Out. While we certainly understand this social philanthropic “fashion for everyone” affair championed by Anna Wintour and friends, it absolutely obliterates the little decency that remains in luxury shopping in this city. Yes, we all find the attitudes inside the gilded foyer of Hermès to be a bit frigid, but isn’t it completely understandable that if someone was overseeing the aggressive push of $15,000 ostrich-skin merchandise to a marvelously affluent and demanding clientele day after day that they would develop an extreme snob complex? Besides which, unwelcoming as shops such as Hermès may be, the atmosphere does establish some sense of order and brand image, and people can actually browse and shop in peace.
Order means nothing during the evening of Fashion’s Night Out. Peace? Fuggetaboutit! Instead, posh shopping establishments become laden with breathing and mobile fashion atrocities. These individuals bring an uncouth, boisterous je ne sais quoi to boutiques such as Rebecca Taylor, Brunello Cucinelli, Oscar de la Renta, Alexis Bittar and Rag & Bone. They purchase nothing, spill their drinks frequently, scream, hiss, push and even fight. But occasionally order presides, publicists greet attendees and pleasantries and frivolities are exchanged. Donna Karan’s Stephan Weiss book launch party at her boutique on Madison Avenue was one such example.