There’s so much to love about fall—the crisp air, no longer having to excuse your desire to browse the windows at Wolford, and most importantly, the droves of fashion-forward creatures who come out of hiding for the one night that truly epitomizes New York style: Fashion’s Night Out. The event, sponsored by Vogueand the CFDA, began in New York in 2009 and has since been celebrated in over sixteen countries around the world. This year’s event, celebrated on September 8 in all five of our fair city’s boroughs, lets shoppers rub elbows with their favorite celebs while getting some deals on designer duds (and the occasional free cocktail to boot). But with so many places to go and people to see, how does a girl decide how to fill up her dance card? With our step-by-step guide, of course.
5 PM: Before you hit the streets, hit the app store. The Fashion’s Night Out app for iPhone and Android can help you plan your night, and, unlike the clothing you’ll be filling your closets with by the evening’s end, it won’t cost you a penny.
6 PM: Show your team spirit at Calvin Klein’s Madison Avenue store and give Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire a high five, that is if you can reach.
6:15 PM: Drop by Manolo Blahnik’s 54th Street shop and mingle with the quintessential Manhattanite, Sarah Jessica Parker, as she shows off the shoe she co-designed with Carrie Bradshaw’s favorite footwear designer. If you can’t make it up to the store, you can still try out Blahnik’s favorite treat at the Manolo Milkshake Truck, making stops around the city until 11 PM.
6:30 PM: Stock up on cozy autumn essentials at Banana Republic in Rockefeller Center and stay for an aperitif, courtesy of Clos du Bois winery, and a performance by British rock duo Graffiti6.
7 PM: Things you can only claim once in a lifetime: “I’m saving myself for you;” “I saw Mark Badgley and James Mischka’s dachshunds perform at Bergdorf’s.” In one of the evening’s most unique events, the couple’s canine pals, Whiskey and Rommel, will compete in Bergdorf Goodman’s Designer Dog Show in the women’s store on Fifth Avenue.
7:30 PM: The biggest question for event-goers on such a momentous occasion isn’t “what do I buy?” it’s WWBD—What Would Barbie Do? In the event of a broken heel or being stood up by Ken, she’d do what any resourceful modern woman would—get on the bus. Channel your inner child and catch the Barbie bus on 37th and 5th for a free ride to 10 stops around the city.
8:00 PM: On your way downtown, stop by the Ace Hotel to have your portrait sketched onto a Band of Outsiders tote by artist Jessica Repetto. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you might still be persuaded into purchasing with the added incentive of a free cookie from Momofuku Milk Bar.
8:30 PM: Go for the gold at Stella McCartney’s store in the Meatpacking District and scoop up her new gold charm bracelet, designed specifically for the event. Browse McCartney’s eco-chic fashions as It Girls, including Jen Brill, Alexa Chung and Lily Cole, show off their skills on the turntable as the evening’s guest DJs.
9:00 PM: Stop into Elie Tahari’s Soho shop for a preview of his latest designs and some dessert and check out his new online magazine, ETC.
9:30 PM: Impressed by all the designer talent you’ve seen? Show off your own gifts at the Alexander Wang Talent Show on Grand Street.
10 PM: Heal your heels on the way home with a quick stop into Cynthia Rowley on Bleecker street, where the designer is launching the ultimate accessory: her own line of Band-Aids.