Mean Betty: Fashion’s Night Out has Turned Into Halloween for Adults!
Anna Wintour’s FNO has changed from helping the economy to a trashy free-for-all.
Kittens, did you know that Fashion’s Night Out was the brainchild of Anna Wintour, Editor In Chief (and secret ruler of the world) way back in ’09 and the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers) as a way to encourage shoppers to please, please, please come back to the stores and shop!
Back then, the economy was teetering on its stilettos, so Anna, bless her heart, thought that if they threw a party and had special guests, people would show up, meet the model or designer or celeb of their dreams, drop some hard-earned cash on goods, nibble on free treats, quaff free champagne and all would be right in the world. The party was held in New York City. Kittens, everyone came! Everyone behaved and had a wonderful time.
Fast forward three years later to 2012, and FNO has been held in over 16 countries. Kittens, 16 countries across the globe are throwing a one night fete! Doesn’t that sound glorious? Here at BettyConfidential, we had a seven-page listing of events for that night. SEVEN PAGES!!
Alas, here’s the thing kittens, people have stopped looking at FNO as a way to help designers and brands keep their doors open against a fiscally cold (can we say bankrupt, closed stores) winter into a wacky free-for-all.
People plan for days where they’ll go to scarf the free stuff. They time their entrances and exits to they can maximize how much stuff they can acquire for free—what they’ll do with it later (will they become hoarders?)—is another story. Kittens, the problem is that the crowds flock into the stores and leave mounds of garbage and terrified sales clerks in their wake. Did you know that people will line up hours ahead of time for a free nail polish that they could buy for two dollars?
Meanie is waiting for the day when some enterprising soul will design a FNO bag that looks suspiciously like a child’s Halloween trick or treat bag. Adults will whiz in, open the bag, scream, “Gimme!” run out and do it again somewhere else.
This past FNO, Meanie ventured out into the fray. She had accidentally RSVP’d to a few parties. Lulled by the thought of margaritas/ health tonics, convivial conversation and a fabu sale or three, she left her secure and clean compound for the streets of SoHo.
Streets were blocked off. Police were everywhere. Sidewalks were one way only. Garbage was strewn everywhere. It wasn’t even ordinary garbage. It was empty shopping bags, discarded freebies, broken glassware and lots of tissue paper. Mean Betty made the mistake of wandering into a shop. There she was greeted by screaming people demanding more free drinks whilst tossing merchandise all over the floor. At another destination, people had pushed off jeans that had been carefully folded on a table so they could drunkenly make out in full view of the world. When someone ventured into a shop and was told that either the drink or free stuff was gone, people would either angrily stomp out, or yell at the sales people or do both.
What happened to genteel, civilized behavior kittens? When did saying, “Hello,” “Please,” and “Thank you” become so last 15 minutes ago?
Meanie understands the lure of free champagne, cookies and a lippie. She really does. What she can’t understand is why people have to destroy the streets and shops, all in the pursuit of “fun.”
Lambkins, maybe Meanie is a crotchety and old, but how is it “fun” when you stand in line for hours, grab something from a salesclerk who thinks you’re acting psychotically, run out, throw it on the street and then spill stuff on clothing hanging on the racks?
Meanie does understand the joy of hip-checking another shopper for a good bargain. However, hip-checking a salesperson because all the freebies are gone is another story.
Meanie wants you to remember: accidentally wounding a shopper for a bargain (that you’re going to buy) is one thing. Attacking someone who barely makes $8 an hour because they politely asked you to pick up your FNO garbage off the floor, or to please not use the fitting room as a toilet, is quite another thing.
Next year, let’s all keep this in mind. Freebies are fab, but let’s keep our sense of decorum and fun whilst we toast with complimentary champagne to the amazing designers, store-keepers, and shop gals and guys of the world!