Did “Fashion’s Night Out” Fix Any Of The Fashion Industry’s Problems?

There’s no doubt that Fashion’s Night Out was a huge social success (just ask our hangovers the next morning). But with all the hype, celebs, and cool parties, it’s been easy to forget the event’s intent—Anna Wintour’s mission to help save the ailing industry through a night of fashion and spending.

So, did FNO do its job? Conclusive revenue reports from stores and the designers themselves have yet to be revealed, although WWD reports:

ShopperTrak reported Fashion’s Night Out spurred a 3.4 percent nationwide traffic increase in apparel and accessories stores, with nearly a 50 percent rise in Manhattan… “Our traffic data proves Fashion’s Night Out was a very successful event for those retailers in the apparel and accessories segment,'” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak.

Yet, throughout the evening, we can’t say we saw anyone buying—the hectic and crowded atmosphere definitely didn’t communicate a purchasing vibe. And an article in today’s New York Times takes a dubious stance on its overall effect: “Fashion’s Night Out … was designed to brace up nervous customers and convince them that consumption is joyous. But it also proved that there is more to e-commerce than buying online.” In this way, FNO excitement was a harsh reminder that boutiques are struggling to find a balance in empty stores and attracting new customers online.

It will be interesting to hear from the individual boutiques about their sales (or lack thereof) from the event. If anything, FNO succeeded in reinvigorating a passion for design and fashion. And that has to count for something. Did you buy anything last week? [WWD, NY Times]