On Thursday the city was full of life, and fashion, as Toronto welcomed the first Fashion’s Night Out (FNO). Originally started in New York City in 2009 as a way to support the fashion industry and get consumers to shop, the Toronto edition of FNO had events that were hosted all over the city, with parties, food, drinks and shopping till 11PM. Shoppers picked out their best outfits, and they traveled to events in different neighborhoods in support of local retailers. Similar fashion events were held in other cities in Canada as they were hosting their version of Fashion’s Night Out.
We started our FNO at Yorkdale Mall, where DJs played music throughout the night, as a fashion showcase hosted by Tracy Moore, Lynn Spence, and Dianne Carreiro was held in the centre court of the mall. Stores in the mall also got in the FNO spirit with special discounts, gift with purchases and even guest appearances from the 1Girl 5Gays cast members at the Bench store.
Next up, we stopped by Yorkville for the TFI Fashion Soiree at the Hazelton Lanes, where local retailers had set up shop to sell their clothing and accessories to the FNO shoppers. The oval square at Hazelton Lanes was set up with a hair station, where you could get your hair re-done, a fun photo booth, and a bar handing out drinks. Even though all these stations were set up, the most excitement came from Fashion Television’s Jeanne Beker, who was doing a meet and greet with excited FNO shoppers.
The Fashion Soiree wasn’t the only event held in Yorkville. Holt Renfrew continued the celebration of its 175th anniversary by closing down the stretch of Bloor Street in front of Holts and hosting a giant street party. The event included a 3D film projected on the side of the Bloor St. location (see the film below), a mobile pop-up shop selling Holt Renfrew anniversary merchandise, and a lot of confetti.
We finished our night by visiting the Rac Boutique’s Bazaar, a three day pop-up shop at the Burroughs Building that had local Toronto retailers showcasing their goods for the FNO shoppers. The crowd celebrated the night by drinking cocktails, heading to the rooftop for an amazing view, and talking about the celebrity sighting (Entouage’s Adrian Grenier).
The night was a huge success and can only get better. Some retailers missed the mark by not having any association with Fashion’s Night Out, which has been a proven marketing success for increased sales at previous events hosted in New York City. Only time will tell what will be different for next year’s Fashion’s Night Out and what new retailers decide to come aboard.