Designer Mania at FNO

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

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Insider arrived at Jimmy Choo’s Madison Avenue boutique minutes after model Angela Lindvall finished her live photo shoot, styled by the brand’s founder and president, Tamara Mellon. “Fashion’s Night Out was such a great idea,” said Mellon, who mingled with Choo fans throughout the evening. The brand’s Project Pep initiative, being launched in conjunction with the Elton John AIDS Foundation, was also front and center during the evening’s festivities, and shoppers, including Cindy Crawford, posed with an oversized cutout of the number "72" to raise awareness for the cause. (People who have been exposed to the HIV virus have a maximum of 72 hours to receive the post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) treatment for it to be effective.) And in November, the luxe brand is launching a capsule collection of footwear, handbags and small leather goods that incorporate iconic Jimmy Choo motifs, with 25 percent of sales from the collection going to Simelela Rape Centre in Cape Town, South Africa.

Kenneth Cole and rapper Matisyahu — who performed at the Rockefeller Center store — picked up the musician's guitars for few photo ops. Could "rock star" be the designer’s newest ambition? “He doesn’t play the guitar — yet,” admitted Scott Currie, Kenneth Cole’s VP of global communications. “We’ll have to get on that.” And while Matisyahu doesn’t have plans to make a move into footwear, Insider learned that the Brooklyn, N.Y., native has been tapped to record a song for the upcoming Olympic Games in Vancouver.

At Nine West on Fifth Avenue, shoppers were lined up outside the store in advance of Third Eye Blind’s performance. Inside, the scene was just as frenetic, with many shoppers trying on and buying multiple pairs of shoes and employees shouting out raffle winners. The store, which was feting its new Vintage America collection, was decked out with Vintage America merch, and the drink du jour, apple-infused wine, fit nicely with the theme of the evening. Design chief Fred Allard and retail head Jay Friedman, who greeted customers as they arrived, said they were tracking the night’s sales and were pleased with the tally.

Ping-pong fanatic Stuart Weitzman spent much of the evening playing with his fans at his Columbus Circle and Madison Avenue stores. In between rounds, the designer stopped in at Bergdorf Goodman, where he greeted shoppers. After his last match at his crowded Madison Avenue boutique, Weitzman told Insider that the night was both fun — and lucrative. “It was our biggest sales day of the year,” he said. “It worked.” Weitzman’s next stop is Milan, where he will attend Micam next week.  

The U.S. Open arrived at Cole Haan on Madison Avenue, as the retail store was decked out in a tennis-themed motif. An umpire guarded the door, and inside, treats from Dylan’s Candy Bar were placed around a giant tennis ball filled with lollipops. “I’m trying to be good and stay away from the Sweedish Fish,” joked Tracy Smith, president of global sales, “but I’m waiting for the Good & Plenty to come out!” Smith was encouraged by the number of shoppers who came out for the event, and was planning to hit all Cole Haan locations in the city. “We want shoppers to know it's OK— it's OK to come out and support the city and its retailers,” he said. “From our standpoint, we certainly hope they’ll think about doing this again.”

At Payless ShoeSource on Lexington Avenue, meanwhile, Christian Siriano steadily worked through a line of hundreds of fans and dished about the lineup of hot celebs coming to his Saturday runway show at Bryant Park. “I have 15 really amazing girls sitting front row,” he dished. “So exciting.”

Stacy London, star of TLC’s “What Not to Wear,” made the rounds at Ann Taylor’s Madison Avenue shop, offered her best styling tips for women browsing the brand’s newly revamped collection and vowed she’s still on track with her own footwear collection. “Soon,” she told Insider. “I promise!”

Model and photographer Daria Strokous showed off her exhibition of behind-the-scenes Fashion Week photography at the Fifth Avenue Salvatore Ferragamo store, where a DJ spun tunes and Vincent Ottomanelli, president and regional director of Salvatore Ferragamo USA, mingled with fashionistas.

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