Fashion's Night Out on Hiatus for 2013

Anna Wintour WSJ Awards Arrivals - P 2012
Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Anna Wintour WSJ Awards Arrivals - P 2012

For designers and retailers, the benefits of the annual worldwide event initially created to stimulate the fashion economy do not necessarily outweigh the growing costs.

In this case, the price of fashion is just too high. WWD reports that the sponsors of Fashion's Night Out -- Vogue, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and NYC & Co. -- have made the joint decision to put the September event on hiatus for 2013.

The annual event, initially created by Vogue editrix Anna Wintour to stimulate the New York City fashion economy at the height of the recession, has heightened in cost over the past four years as it expanded to more than 500 cities nationwide and 30 cities internationally. What first began as a night of introducing fall trends and engaging customers throughout the Big Apple quickly evolved into a star-studded international affair, with the likes of Marc Jacobs,  Saks and Gucci touting celebrity appearances, giveaways and generous bites and beverages to keep a crowd's focus. Designers and retailers discovered they've had to invest more and more of their resources to participate in the event -- a demand met with backlash by those simultaneously preparing to share their Spring collections on runways later that week. 

Last year's Los Angeles FNO celebration was visibly tamer than previous incarnations, with brands including Diane Von Furstenberg bowing out completely and the 60 foot Ferris wheel that graced Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive in 2011, gone. 

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“Fashion’s Night Out brought great energy, optimism and enthusiasm to the city’s retailers, who make up a thriving part of our economy. We can always count on fashion industry leaders to use their creativity and savvy to benefit New York City — whether they are helping us recover from a national recession, a natural disaster or whatever the next challenge may be,” said mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to WWD.

Sponsors hope that FNO's pause will allow storefronts to target their budgets toward projects of their own objectives, reports WWD. Meanwhile, they reassure that that the September shopping party is not gone for good. For starters, FNO's 2013 hiatus is only in America: Nicky Eaton, a spokeswoman for Condé Nast International, confirmed that other cities around the world will continue to host the event for its fifth year. Nineteen countries are set to participate in 2013, including Thailand and Ukraine for the first time.

Steven Kolb, chief executive officer of the CFDA, also noted that though FNO wasn't necessarily measured in monetary terms, he still considers it a successful venture that reignited the public's excitement for fashion. Altogether, the event has raised more than $1.5 million for the New York City AIDS Fund in the New York Community Trust.