Designer Mania at FNO

Manolo, Giuseppe Zanotti, Stuart and Tamara held court in their midtown boutiques.

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Manolo Blahnik's pink suede shoes

Photo By Regina Smith Popp

The came, they saw, they shopped. Vogue and the CFDA’s Fashion’s Night Out lured big crowds last night, especially in New York, where apparel and accessories traffic was up almost 50 percent versus a “normal” Thursday night. From Manhattan to Santa Monica, Calif., Insider made the retail rounds to find out how designers and merchants were spending their evening.

Insider caught up with Manolo Blahnik in three different places during Fashion's Night Out: Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys and his boutique off Fifth Avenue. And though he was still smarting from breaking his tailbone in a recent fall, the famed designer didn’t let the pain stifle his awe of the evening’s turnout. “It’s extraordinary,” he exclaimed of the crowds at his boutique appearance, which included of mix of female fans, from their teens to their 80s. “Youngsters are excited. It’s great to encourage people and give them hope.”

But Blahnik didn’t save the best footwear styles for the ladies. On his own feet? Hot-pink loafers and blush-colored, polka-dot socks. “In real life, I like bright colors that clash with everything you wear!” As he navigated through crowds of fans on the Barneys shoe floor, Blahnik was eager to get the message out about fashion’s biggest night. “At the moment, we need to do everything we can to engage people to get into the shopping environment,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what it is, they just need to buy something.” After the trifecta of appearances, Blahnik said he was ready to have a Fashion Night In. “[After this], I’m going to bed. I want to go to bed right now!”

Click here to continue reading about the scene at Saks>>

Check out the kickoff in Queens>>

Check out the crowds in Downtown>>

Check out the parties in L.A.>>

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