To the team behind Fashion's Night Out - Atlanta:
Today marked my second time attending an Atlanta FNO, and the third of its kind in this city. As someone who was part of a grassroots organization as it tried to become a national NGO, I'm very aware of the difficulties that lie in coordinating and planning an event that requires more than ten people. I'm so glad to see that my city, my hometown, and my first love participates in such a large, global event and appreciate all of the hard work that was put into constructing an FNO in Atlanta last night. But there are a few things that I wish we had or think we can do better.
For one, the events were lacking. I understand that we don't have the budget or resources of a large city like New York. We are still finding our fashion footing, but aside from the promise of nibbles, drinks, and the odd trunk show, there was nothing presented that was out of the ordinary. Yes, FNO is a great platform to introduce your fall collection, but it's also a great way to introduce new customers to your brand through an innovative and interactive event.
Secondly, the space inside Lenox should be utilized better. A thematic exhibition, perhaps, like Opening Ceremony's Korea-themed FNO extravaganza, would fare so positively with shoppers and actually bring people out of their homes to spend some time (and money) at the mall. And while the tent at Shops Around Lenox was impressive, the event seemed to miss the point of FNO, which is to be fun and exciting. It's a day when fashion is energetic and creative and not presented like the Met Gala. Fashion week is a constant reminder at how stuffy the fashion industry can be; FNO is the night where we can celebrate how fun and inviting fashion can be.
Another point that FNO-Atlanta seems to miss is the importance of engaging bloggers. There is no greater way to create buzz around an event than through bloggers. The best part is that the advertising is FREE! Get us excited about the event and we'll be posting about it not only on our blogs but all of the other social mediums we're addicting to updating constantly (i.e. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Four Square... am I missing anything?).
I'm a realistic girl. I don't expect to see Phillip Lim mixing cocktails for shoppers inside Nordstrom's or Rachel Roy handing out cupcakes inside Macy's with her signature smile. But I think we can do better. Our city deserves better.