Free macaroons, $100 bottles of champagne, and the "who's who" of fashion casually bumping into you in exuberantly-decorated designer stores. I'm talking about Vogue Fashion's Night Out, an event that's enjoyable for men and women interested in fashion and free champagne alike.
What is the Vogue Fashion Night Out? The event is held across 32 international cities during the month of September and is meant to "restore consumer confidence and boost the industry's economy." Essentially, all of the top-name designers open up their stores on a central street until late into the night, playing haute music, serving haute champagne or other hors d'oeuvres, and showcasing their haute new fall/winter collections.
This event is huge, particularly in Paris, the fashion capital of the world. The key to your entrance is to buy a French Vogue September issue--the *exclusive* invitation is inside.
My crew and I arrived at the event a couple of hours late (one must show up fashionably late at a high fashion event, of course). Rue Saint Honoré was filled with fashion-loving Parisians, and trendy soirées in apartments above the street added to the lively atmosphere.
Several stores had exclusive lists that your Vogue ticket wouldn't let you into, but peer inside and you could see top-dressed aristocrats of fashion, either enjoying an exclusive party or watching a private fashion show.
Other stores were open to those with the golden Vogue ticket, and had photo backdrops set up with professional photographers to take your next Instagram photo. Many stores were offering free glasses of expensive champagne, macaroons, balloons, phone cases--you name it. If anything, buying a Vogue magazine for Fashion's Night Out is a surefire way to get buzzed.
You can also peruse the latest collections and Vogue's choice of best pieces on Fashion's Night Out. This is one night in Paris that the bourgeoisie are actually encouraged to walk around and touch (gasp) thousands of dollars worth of clothing (aimed to restore "consumer confidence" again, whatever that means; after this night I'm doubly as confident that my meager paycheck will never allow me to even touch a designer sock).
Here's a insider's tip: you should always be nice to the person working the door--these people are usually not just bouncers at high fashion events. The man or woman with the guest list is oftentimes the one who organized the event and can be VIP's who work at Lanvin, Chanel, etc. Also, talk to everyone you can if you're trying to make it in the fashion industry, especially at an event like Fashion's Night Out that brings the most elite of the fashion world and aspiring interns together. You might have never known that the women perusing the racks next to you was the head of marketing for a major fashion label, for instance.
The Vogue Fashion's Night Out is worth the €5 for the Vogue September issue (if you can get your hands on one earlier next year the better--they leave newsstands like hotcakes). Not only is Fashion's Night Out a night of couture inspiration, it's a great way to network with the oh-so-enviable VIP's and climbing members of the fashion industry. Have your business cards on hand.