Sometimes, the backlash wins out.
Vogue, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and NYC & Co. have confirmed that Fashion's Night Out, the sprawling promotional event designed to draw customers into stores and encourage Fall shopping, will not be happening in the U.S. this Fall. First held on the eve of Fashion Week in September 2009, it was originally designed to give a jump start to stores suffering through a punishing recession. It featured a combination of special appearances from designers and celebrities along with musical performances and any number of other stunts all on the same night —with drinks. Lots of free drinks. After repeating the event annually and more elaborately for the next three years, participants from nearly every sector involved began questioning whether the concept had become overly hyped and whether it was actually succeeding in bringing real customers into stores to shop. Many merchants began to feel like they were being pressured to open their doors to the masses who were really more interested in free drinks and a lively party than buying new clothes. Designers in particular were typically not pleased to be trotted out to the public while they were in the midst of high pressure, last minute preparations for their Fashion Week runway shows. Barneys, for example has pointedly opted out of the event entirely for the past two years, and nobody has ever been able to fully quantify the event's effectiveness in a solid dollar amount of increased sales. Bowing to FNO fatigue, the event's organizers have put it on hiatus until... well, nobody seems to know exactly when it will return. In the event that rogue retailers decide to hold their own FNO-style events independently, the organization's website is explicitly clear that the moniker is trademarked and not to be used without permission. The event will live on in selected international cities, but for now, at least in the U.S., it looks like Fashion's Night Out is packing it in.