My adoration for New York is about as obnoxious, enthusiastic and irrational as the Queen Bee of SOTC’s. At least it was, until the ubiquitous propaganda hailing Fashion’s Night Out as, like, the greatest thing in retail EVER started eating away at my Apple-loving soul.
It took me approximately one week to figure out the who/what/where/when and why of Fashion’s Night Out. Here’s what I’ve culled from the PR shitstorm so far:
Who: Vogue + NYC Stores + You, the Shopper
What: An extended night o’ retail that uses designers, celebrities, music and booze as bait to tempt you into spending money.
Where: All over the city, even at Macy’s in Queens. Looks like the recession has Fashion totally hearting the little people.
When: September 10th, 6pm – 11pm.
Why: Because you, the consumer, aren’t spending as much as you used to on crap you don’t need. For retail, that is So. Not. Okay. Vogue & Co. are pulling out all the stops to ensure their monetary survival. Not yours.
I don’t mean to engage in a war on fun, so pardon me for pissing on everyone’s parade. I just think the ultimate goal of Fashion’s Night Out – to get us to spend money – deserves a whistle blow. The celebrity and designer-riddled PSA ad frames shopping as a duty, and tells us the jobs of 175,000 New Yorkers are at stake. You know what else is at stake? My RENT, and if I blow it on a custom-made Chanel bag at Fashion’s Night Out, I can’t afford to live here.
This city might be Fashion’s capital, but the industry only employs about two percent of the 8.36 million people who call it home. If had dough to burn, I’d be able to shop my tuchis off at Fashion’s Night Out and buy in the name of the greater good. But I don’t, and because of the 300% mark-ups the luxury goods industry’s all-too-fond of, my menial dollar isn’t a factor in whether or not those working in retail keep or lose their jobs. And I’m not about to sanction Fashion’s ability to rip me off by contributing money I don’t have to its “cause.”
If Fashion really wants to restore consumer confidence, it’ll stop manufacturing and endorsing shit only the top two percent of this country can realistically afford. The industry’s night out little more than a protest against doing so; a means of maintaining the status quo (see the latest on Saks Fifth Avenue).
It won’t work because it can’t work, because it’s tough for us consumers to go back to coveting and accumulating shiny new stuff once our budgets illuminate how little of it we actually need.
For a fiscally responsible approach to Fashion’s Night Out, see The Cut’s Frugal Guide. And should you decide to attend, know that it’s not your job to help Fashion survive the recession.
It’s Fashion‘s job to get real and adjust.