What’s the best way to beat the recession blues?
Go shopping, of course!
At least that’s the answer the Georgetown Business Improvement District is pushing. The organization is sponsoring DC’s rendition of Fashion’s Night Out, a global celebration of shopping, style, and spending in defiance of the economic downturn.
In early September, fashionistas from Indiana to Italy and Taiwan to Texas will hit local high-end shopping venues for entertainment and encouragement to spend. The international initiative, sponsored in part by Vogue magazine and the Council of Fashion Designers of America, started last year, but the event will debut in Washington September 10 from 6 to 11. Georgetown earned its participation in the program through a competitive bidding process.
“The selection of Georgetown says that women in Washington are super-excited about fashion and that we’re becoming a very fashion-savvy city,” says Nancy Miyahira, a spokeswoman for Georgetown BID. “And it’s natural that Georgetown should host. It’s the shopping and style district for Washington.”
That night, more than 70 Georgetown retailers, restaurants, and salons will lure shoppers with high-end snacks, gifts with purchase, and discounted cocktails at places such as Farmers & Fishers, Miyahira says. A “hydration lounge” sponsored by Dean & DeLuca will serve cool drinks such as Vitamin Water, and Cirque du Soleil performers will roam the streets. Attendees can also wear their chicest stilettos without fear of tripping on Georgetown’s cobblestone sidewalks: Blue Bus rides are complimentary for attendees that night, and shoppers get free pedicab rides with the presentation of a receipt.
“The goal is to inspire spending and enthusiasm,” says Dusty Lockhart, a spokeswoman for the DC event. “It’s not discount-based. We want to encourage people to come into the stores, to get excited, and to hopefully spend.”
To that end, retailers are featuring creative promotions in addition to the goodies. Juicy Couture shoppers, for example, will be greeted by “Juicy Boys”—who likely won’t be wearing very much—Lacoste is hosting a Nintendo Wii tournament, and, Carrie Bradshaw fans, take note: Urban Chic will be holding a Halston Heritage show. Charm Georgetown has scheduled a Mija jewelry trunk show, and former Washingtonian Style Setter Brooke Kao will be walking the Tsyndyma runway at Darrel Dean. Free cupcakes, totes, and tees (with purchase) will be snapped up quick at Georgetown Cupcake, Diesel, and Cusp, and our favorite men’s store, Lost Boys will host a special “pregame” with straight-razor shaves and top-shelf-bourbon tastings.
For Rachel Cothran, a member of the host committee and owner of the blog ProjectBeltway.com, the evening is shaping up to be a celebration of Washington’s burgeoning arts scene.
“People are really waking up to fashion in Washington, and this event is a great opportunity to take advantage of that,” she says. “Hosting the event is a really positive thing for DC’s overall image. We’re a big, cosmopolitan city with a lot of interests, and it’s great we’re getting recognized for some of our creative pursuits. There’s really the possibility for energy, and excitement and for bringing Washington together as a community.”
For a full line-up of the night's special events, click here.