I just got back from 4 hours of Fashion’s Night Out in Paris. The verdict? Très chic, but not nearly the extravaganza that is FNO New York.
For starters, FNO Paris is held in only 1 neighborhood, the Triangle d’or in the 8th arrondissment which consists of Avenue Montaigne, Rue François 1er, Avenue George V and Avenue Franklin-Roosevelt. If you’re familiar with Paris, you know that this area is where all the luxury flagships are. 60 stores in total participated in the event and of course I plotted out a plan of attack before heading out with my fellow colleagues Laura and Marcos.
1st Stop: Gucci.
Featuring photo shoots with leather G’s as props, most people posed as what I like to refer to as “yearbook” style portraits.
Laura, Marcos and I mixed it up a bit and “fought” with intertwined G’s. They took 2 pics before I think they were scared of what we would do next.. A video screen allowed you to view the photos and print them out. Apparently they’ll also show up on Gucci’s facebook page.
2nd Stop: Jil Sander
Jil Sander featured what seemed like all of the new Jil Sander Navy collection for Spring 11 from Parisian blogger Garance Doré. It was a nice opportunity to get up close and personal with the new collection, though most visitors seemed more interested in the champers and macaroons.
3rd Stop: Dior
4th & Final Stop: Manoush
Not quite sure if it’s fair to count this one, as we waited on line for quite a while until calling it a night without making it inside. Anyway, Manoush (indeed the ONLY worthwhile non-luxury stop on the list), amplified its circus theme with balloons and clowns.
All in all it was definitely a fun night with copious amounts of champagne at every store and some great events (the 3D couture show at Dior was my favorite). I’d have to say that my big problem with FNO Paris is that it had a very exclusive feel to it, versus NY where the whole point is that everyone is invited. You needed actual INVITES from EACH STORE to enter! I must have missed the memo on that one, but we made it in almost all stores on my list (minus Louis Vuitton which was apparently closed by the time we got there and Marni which insisted on a Marni invite for entry). The other negative which is rather obvious is that limiting FNO Paris to only 1 neighborhood (with 98% luxury flagships) is kind of missing the point of some great (and well known) contemporary French labels. I would have loved to seen events in Le Marais with labels like The Kooples, Isabel Marant, A.P.C., etc.
And of course the entire point is to get people into the stores with buzz-worthy events, which most of the above had. To me the crowds were also bearable without being excessive. The mesh of fashion people and luxury shoppers was kind of something else – with some of the luxe camp gawking at the younger fashion set (i.e. our tug o’ war photo shoot with the Gucci G’s). On the grander scheme of things, NY’s Fashion Night Out is certainly unrivaled by its countless events across several neighborhoods, and I could only hope that in the future Paris’ FNO develops into a more inclusive event with a wider market (and neighborhood) reach. That alone may just do the trick to get the younger fashion set to balance their pocketbooks and champagne at the same time.