When Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour launched Fashion’s Night Out in 2009, the industry revival initiative centered mostly in New York, with smaller echoes in major hubs like Los Angeles and Miami. Since then, the September celebration of fashion has taken off throughout the country, and this year, its official presence will be felt in Baltimore.
This Thursday, September 8th, the city’s retailers will join the fashion retail promotion with after-hours events to encourage customers to get shopping. Marking the Baltimore’s inaugural official participation, the non-profit Baltimore Fashion Alliance will host a celebration at the Harbor Court Hotel with up to 40 Baltimore-based designers, manufacturers, and retailers on display.
The BFA is also encouraging retailers city-wide to remain open after hours, and many retailers have taken note. Downtown, Cupcake Boutique will be selling the official FNO tee-shirts and will feature a Black Halo trunk show as well as giveaways and added shopping incentives. Fells Point’s Babe A Boutique is offering 10% off all merchandise store-wide. Across town in Towson, The Shops at Kenilworth will join the festivities with in-store events, cocktails, and discounts throughout the shopping center. At Towson Town Center, stores will display trunk shows, refreshments, and shopping incentives. What’s more, the mall will put on a fashion show and offer exclusive giveaways, prizes, cocktails, and cosmetic bars. At Green Spring Station in Lutherville, Fresh! Boutique will host a daytime Lionette trunk show from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. The shopping center will also stay open until 7:00pm with champagne and treats.
Reports have been mixed regarding whether Fashion’s Night Out has been a financial success in years past, but there is no question that as far as brand recognition and foot traffic, FNO is tremendously powerful. The official presence of the initiative in Baltimore should prove to be at least a new way to tackle fall shopping, if not a shot to the arm to the local fashion retailers.