Fashion’s Night Out

New York Fashion Week kicks off this Thursday, September 6. That evening, in keeping with a more-the-merrier tradition started four years ago by Vogue’s Anna Wintour, cities across the U.S.—Chicago included—join the party with Fashion’s Night Out. With sales, runway shows, and freebies galore, there’s no wrong way to celebrate FNO. But we’ve put together a sample itinerary of what your night could look like (with even more events listed below in The Best of the Rest of Fashion’s Night Out).

Start at Blowtique (1 E. Huron St., 312-280-2400, for a free blowout, available from 12 to 5 p.m. on a first come, first serve basis (walk-ins only). Then head to Sarca (710 N. Wabash Ave., 312-255-0900, between noon and 6 p.m. for a glass of bubbly—or eyelash applications and lip touchups from Cheap Frills and Thrills, styling advice from Rad and Refined, and 20 percent off all purchases. Next, rub elbows with the actress Ali Larter (Heroes, Legally Blonde) at a multilevel party at The 900 Shops (900 N. Michigan Ave., 312-915-3916, Restaurants including Tavernita provide free bites, complimentary makeup and beauty treatments are up for grabs at a beauty bazaar, and in-store promotions are proffered practically everywhere you turn. After that, run over to Macy’s State Street (111 N. State St., 312-781-1000, for the obligatory reality TV star sighting: Nzimiro Oputa of NBC’s Fashion Star and Aviva Drescher of The Real Housewives of New York City make appearances between 6 and 11 p.m. The night is still young, so grab a seat at ROOF on The Wit hotel (201 N. State St., 312-467-0200, between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. for a FNO after-party ($10 admission) with specialty cocktails and a fall fashion preview from the women’s boutique Edith Hart.


The Best of the Rest of Fashion’s Night Out

Craving even more FNO? Here are six other events scheduled for Thursday, September 6:

  • Water Tower Place (835 N. Michigan Ave., 312-440-3166, supplies complimentary cocktails, music, and snacks by M Burger from 6 to 8 p.m. Select stores also present their own FNO specials—Macy’s, for one, entices shoppers from 6 to 11 p.m. with nail art by AstroWifey, a hair-braiding bar, and a fall trend report by The Girls of Lincoln Park.
  • The men’s boutique Haberdash (607 N. State St., 312-624-8551, makes sure guys aren’t left out of the FNO equation by offering booze, bites, and a gift with purchase from 6 to 9 p.m.
  • From across the pond: The men’s and women’s clothing shop Ted Baker (1011 N. Rush St., 312-255-0290, serves up Brit-themed refreshments and a complimentary tote bag with any purchase from 6 to 9 p.m.
  • The high-end puffy coat purveyor Moncler (33 E. Oak St., 312-361-8573, throws a cocktail party from 5 to 8 p.m. with light refreshments and limited edition t-shirts ($35).
  • The Shops at North Bridge ( pit Chicago stylists and fashion bloggers—including Chicago Street Style and Trés Awesome—against each other during a friendly fashion-themed competition from 6 to 8 p.m. Stores throughout the mall—such as Stuart Weitzman, which serves free sparkling wine from 4 to 8 p.m.—offer treats, discounts, and FNO-themed freebies.


Also This Week

On Thursday, September 6, boutiques across Lincoln Park’s Armitage Avenue, Halsted Street, and Webster Avenue kick off a new initiative called First Thursdays. On the first Thursday of each month, select shops stay open until 9 p.m. to roll out refreshments and special offers. This Thursday, that includes a “buy one, get one half off” denim promotion at Comfort Me Boutique (701 W. Armitage Ave., 312-255-1412,

The What Not to Wear stylist Stacy London visits Westfield Fox Valley mall (195 Fox Valley Center, Aurora, 630-851-7200, for a meet-and-greet this Saturday, September 8—but be prepared to spend. Between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., only the first 250 shoppers who make purchases of $200 or more get the chance to chat or snap a pic with London. (Fashion consultations with London-trained stylists, however, are available to all attendees.)

The Design Center at the Merchandise Mart (222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, and its appointment-only showrooms open their doors to the public this weekend. Stop by Friday, September 7 through Sunday, September 9 to browse furniture, lighting, rugs, fabrics, and accessories discounted by as much as 75 percent from designer brands including Lilly Pulitzer Home, Robert Allen, and Hotel Maison.



The women’s boutique The Lake Forest Shop (265 Market Square, Lake Forest, 847-234-0548,, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, reopens after renovations with a party on Thursday, September 6 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.