For the fourth year in a row, Fashion’s Night Out, an event celebrating and promoting clothing, shoe and accessory stores, will try and get New Yorkers to spend their cash and boost the economy.
But the fashion festivities on September 6 are not just for the chic boutiques of Manhattan. Stores in all five boroughs have signed up to participate, from small independent shops to chains and large department stores.
The event also includes retailers from across the country and the world, as well as online vendors. Last year, 18 countries participated and there were 4,500 events in the U.S.
In Queens, six stores — in Astoria, Elmhurst, Flushing and Little Neck — are taking part.
KrisTEES, a women’s contemporary boutique in Astoria, has participated in Fashion’s Night Out since its inception.
Owner Kristie Foster sees it as a way to not only promote her business, but also to get people excited about fashion and help the whole retail community.
“[Fashion’s Night Out] puts the fun back into fashion,” said Foster.
She opened her store six years ago and sells clothing and accessories from many international and local small designers.
When the recession hit it became particularly difficult for small boutiques and up-and-coming designers to sell their fashions, she said. Though people have loosened their wallets, business is not what it was before the economic downturn, she continued.
Fashion’s Night Out, which is promoted by Vogue magazine, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the city’s official tourism and marketing organization, NYC & Company, encourages stores to sell everything at full price, said Foster.
It’s one of KrisTEES’ most popular events of the year, she said, and she sells around three times more merchandise than on an average day. And each year, more people find out about the event, she added.
Fashion’s Night Out is not just about shopping. The event’s official hours are from 6 to 11 p.m., but each store is allowed to extend its hours and do its own special event.
This year, KrisTEES features an art exhibit, a series of modern dance performances, music and cocktails. Also, anyone who spends $100 that night will receive a special leather gift.
“I always try to go over and beyond,” said Foster.
To see the full list of participating stores, visit fashionsnightout.com.