It was created in 2009 by a legion of fashion glitterati to boost the industry during the recession in New York. Now, the late-night cocktails and shopping extravaganza that is Fashion’s Night Out (FNO) has made a proper home in over 20 cities and, unsurprisingly, has come to include Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong in its roster.
Next week, the event is returning to the three cities—on September 5 in Hong Kong, September 6 in Shanghai, and September 7 in Beijing. Hangzhou will also be taking part in the spending frenzy, a sign of the rising role and attention second-tier cities are gaining in China.
Angling moneyed shoppers but also proving to be a clever marketing exercise for the industry, FNO’s official opening in the mainland will take place in Shanghai’s Hong Kong Plaza, close to the glitzy Xintiandi complex, with a star-studded red carpet, as well as media and government figures all attending. Vogue China Editor-in-Chief Angelica Cheung will be leading the ceremony, as the magazine is the chief sponsor and supporter of the event.
While the Beijing edition will be mainly confined to Lane Crawford (Seasons Place), Beijing Yintai Centre Shopping Mall, and Beijing China World Mall, Shanghai’s FNO promises to be as packed-full with glam and glossy happenings as its international counterparts. A true citywide affair, this year’s shopping bonanza has been endorsed by celebrities like Li Bingbing, Dong Jie, Julian Nobis, and fashion blogger Han Huohuo, and will take place in 13 shopping venues across town, including the newly opened K11 Art Mall and Jing’an Kerry Centre, Xintiandi, Marks and Spencer, Réel Shanghai, Shanghai Centre, Plaza 66, CITIC Pacific Plaza, The Peninsula Shanghai Shopping Arcade, Bund 22, and Grand Gateway 66.
Here, a plethora of stores as well as Chinese and international labels will be offering discounts, free gifts, and limited edition designs, as well as hosting pop-ups, one-off events, and impressive visual displays.
Among the many initiatives, Dior, Chanel, Giorgio Armani, and Diane Von Furstenberg will be just some of the stores to launch new limited edition handbags, while boutiques like Coccinelle, Alter, and Hogan will unveil exclusive FNO accessories. Over fifty brands and fashion houses are expected to participate.
The presence of a growing number of Chinese designers is also evidence of the event’s resonance within the local fashion industry. Local talents like Helen Lee, OnebyOne Studio, Shiatzy Chen, and La Vie will all be opening their shops for the night with a slew of limited edition products.
One of the highlights of this year’s edition will also be the release of “Let’s Vogue”, a song composed especially for FNO by Fingazz, a producer who has worked with Beyoncé, with lyrics by famous Taiwanese lyricist Yaoqian. Singer Jike Junyi, recent finalist of reality talent show The Voice of China, will be making special appearances in Shanghai, Beijing, and Hangzhou to mark the event with an inaugural performance of the song.
In a move to stir some buzz around the upcoming event, Vogue has naturally turned to social media, with strong promotional campaigns both on Sina Weibo and on its microsite, where it has released a FNO 2013 QR code scanning app enticing shoppers and fashion fanatics with FNO treasure hunt quests, prizes, and spoilers, as well as a special promotional video with host of celebrities promoting the late-night shopping pop-ups.