Led by Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, Fashion’s Night Out started three years ago in response to economic doldrums.
“The idea was to get the economy rolling,” said shoe designer Stuart Weitzman. “Now it’s become one of the giant charity events in America.”
At his Madison Avenue boutique Thursday night, Weitzman stood next to a display of the four shoes he designed with celebrities to raise money for ovarian cancer research.
Michelle Trachtenberg was wearing her contribution to the Young Hollywood Cares Collection, a pair of dark blue snakeskin platforms with studs on the heels.
“They’re perfect for Georgina,” she said, referring to her character on “Gossip Girl.”
Hayden Panettiere had climbed into a green Fendi jumpsuit, with black suede booties from the Cares collection.
“If I were wearing stilettos, I wouldn’t be standing here,” said the actress of “Heroes” and “Scream 4” fame. She’d been on her feet for an hour.
As for getting involved in a project that supports ovarian cancer research -- specifically the lab of Dr. Marsha A. Moses at the Folkman Institute in Boston -- “it makes you feel much better about indulging in guilty pleasures, like shopping,” she said.
The shoes retail for between $425 and $498. In the month of September, which is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, 100 percent of that amount will go to Dr. Moses.
Barneys New York Inc. donated 10 percent of sales at its flagship store Thursday to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
“We’ve had a great day, the customer really responded,” said Barneys Chief Executive Mark Lee. It was 7:20 p.m., and Lee was outside the store waiting for the arrival of former Vogue Paris editor Carine Roitfeld, the current star of Barneys windows.
Barneys didn’t offer karaoke this year. The shop floors were free of distractions.
Not so at Bergdorf Goodman, where visitors could partake in purple cotton candy and tarot readings. Folks crammed the sidewalks in front of the store all evening watching live windows featuring models doing fashion things like cut and sew.
The scene was tame by Bergdorf benchmarks.
“It’s much more civilized this year,” said Jim Gold, the president of specialty retail at the Neiman Marcus Group, which operates Bergdorf Goodman Inc.
Gold explained that in the past, major celebrities created gridlock, making it difficult to look at the clothes for sale.
Fashion for Dogs
One event has become a Fashion’s Night Out tradition: the “BG Best in Show,” a fashion show for dogs.
Designer Wes Gordon dressed up Coco -- the dog of his Bergdorf Goodman buyer, Mariko Ichikawa -- in a look from his fall collection. Ichikawa got to wear a sample of the outfit.
Gordon squeezed in a fitting with Coco on Monday, as he was working on his spring/summer 2012 presentation, which took place yesterday.
“Now I know I want a dog,” Gordon said at the presentation. “First I need some sleep.”
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)