While Tumbleweed Tuesday may mark the mass exodus of vacationers and day-trippers from the East End to points west, efforts have been made to turn our proverbial summer community into a bustle of year-round activity. Fashion’s Night Out puts its mark on the Hamptons this week, as four area boutiques and Tanger Outlets will celebrate the September 6 event.
Fashion’s Night Out began in 2009 as a global way to promote fashion, boost sales and restore consumer confidence in an open-house, celebratory environment. Stores typically stay open beyond their traditional business hours, as they invite patrons to mingle among the merchandise with hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, giveaways, raffles and promotions.
In East Hampton, Elie Tahari and Trina Turk will stay open late with special in-store events, and in Southampton, Alex + Ani and Brahmin will also look to draw those who happen to be in the area post Labor Day. In addition, Tanger Outlets in Riverhead will celebrate Fashion’s Night Out.
For the Hamptons, the night comes at a time when many stores consider closing early to compensate for the thinning crowds. But the fact that FNO is coming to the East End indicates that retailers are realizing what locals already know—the South Fork is not such a sleepy getaway.
“We wanted to bring Fashion’s Night Out to the Hamptons,” said Sasha, the key holder at Alex + Ani’s pop-up shop in Southampton. The store will offer lite bites, refreshments and a complimentary gift with your $100 purchase. There will also be a raffle for a set of five bangles. Best known for their signature charm bracelets, Alex + Ani offers eco-friendly, American-made products that promote positive energy and wellness. The Jobs Lane store opened this summer as a pop-up shop, and they’ll be in the area at least until the end of October.
Just down the block, Brahmin, makers of luxury leather handbags, will be hopping with music, refreshments and a drawing for a pocketbook. For the third consecutive year, Brahmin has designed the official 2012 FNO tote. Made with heavy-duty canvas, the bag has double leather handles and comes in black, navy or turquoise.
The tote bags are a part of the official Fashion’s Night Out collection, which will be available in all four boutiques. The merchandise also features T-shirts for both men and women and long-sleeved shirts for women. Forty percent of proceeds raised from the FNO collection will go to the New York City AIDS Fund in the New York Community Trust. The AIDS Fund is dedicated to fighting AIDS and HIV at the community level by allocating resources that fund education, prevention and research efforts.
While the epicenter of Fashion’s Night Out is in New York, there are more than 4,500 events in the United States and countless more in 18 countries, to make what may be the single largest shopping event of the year.
Exemplifying that notion, Bleecker Street in New York, which has something of a Hamptons feel with its architecturally historic row of designer shops, quickly turned festive last year as shoppers mingled in and out of stores. The open and inviting environment yielded a cocktail-party type atmosphere—complete with free eats, music, entertainment and, to state the obvious, shopping.
As Hamptonites wait in anticipation, a celebrity studded (think Taylor Swift and Justin Beiber) PSA is making the viral video rounds, promising that the night will be spirited, no matter where you celebrate.
For additional information on the event, visit fashionsnightout.com.