All the Buzz From Fashion's Night Out

Footwear News makes the rounds alongside the fashion industry and its fans.

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John Varvatos with Gary Clark Jr.

Photo By Courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency

Kenneth Cole at his Soho store


Downtown in Soho, the FNO scene took on a mardi gras-type atmosphere, as party-hopping shoppers crowded the streets and sidewalks, blocking off traffic. The Dash DJ party, featuring Pauly D of "The Jersey Shore" on the turntable, attracted so many people that police had to shut down Spring Street.

But that worked out well for the Frye boutique, just a few doors down. Even around 11 p.m. it still had a line of people outside, waiting to get in. Once inside, they were treated to free cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. "It's a nostalgia thing," said Sarah Tarica, daughter of Larry Tarica, who couldn’t make the event due to traffic. "Also, Pabst is a casual beer, and we're a casual brand — casual but elevated." And while the younger Tarica said Frye did make some sales, the night was more about brand-building and spreading the word about the new store. "We've gained a lot of new customers tonight."

A few blocks away, John Varvatos' Bowery location continued its CBGB legacy with a concert by the The Roots and up-and-comer Gary Clark Jr. While a line of lucky customers waited out front, dozens of famous faces mingled inside and in the back alley for a quick smoke. Among the concert-goers were Rose McGowan, Bridget Moynahan, Chace Crawford, Kelly Bensimon and Thomas Jane, who was in New York on a press tour for the upcoming season of "Hung." The actor, who's known for wearing Vibram FiveFingers on the red carpet was instead looking sleek in a pair of custom-made Santoni oxfords. "I have a lot of foot problems, so I'm usually barefoot or in specially made shoes."

Kaitlin Doubleday, the new love interest for Jane’s HBO character, also made the rounds at JV. The blonde beauty, rocking a pair of Dolce Vita pumps, talked about her upcoming role on the show, saying it features “a lot of nudity,” particularly when she beds her well-endowed former teacher. But what do her parents think of the raunchy role? “My dad said he wouldn’t watch his daughter do that.”

"Gossip Girl" Kaylee DeFer, decked out in nude peep-toe Lanvins, was hitting the FNO sights with her handlebar-mustachioed fiancé. When asked why she stopped by the Varvatos bash, DeFer boiled it down to two words: “The Roots.”

And over at Big Drop, Nicky Hilton was showing off her jewelry collection (including colorful statement cocktail rings, which the heiress confessed herself particularly partial to), but she also had shoes on her mind. Sporting a pair of suede black ankle boots by Pierre Hardy, Hilton said she was focused on jewelry for the time being, but didn't rule out joining sister Paris in the footwear world. "Maybe down the line," she said. In the meantime, Hilton said she supplements her designer names (lots of Louboutins were in the suitcase for the trip) with big sister's namesake collection. "The shoes are very her — pink soles, very girly."

And the California-based Supra team was in a festive mood, too. Standing in the brand's new-since-July store, VP of global brands and hometown New Yorker Matt Fontana said he was loving the location on Prince Street, right off the Bowery. "We've got Ray's Pizza just down the street, and the New Museum around the corner. It's just like the evolution of New York," he said. Fontana said the brand's entire footwear design team (including head designer Josh Brubaker) had flown in to get their first look at the store and to celebrate FNO, a happening that's more meaningful to the brand than you might think. "I don't believe the urban or skate customer really knows and/or cares about Fashion Night's Out, although you shouldn't stereotype, some skate guys are fashion-driven people," he said. "But for us, FNO is hugely important. We're proud to be part of the manufacturing and production community.”

Via Spiga on Broadway, Jennifer Lamoureux, director of marketing, greeted shoppers. “It’s so exciting to be in the fashion world and right in the center of Soho with all the energy and excitement,” she said. “It’s nice to see people back out shopping and having fun doing it.”

Aldo had some help from The Coveteur founders, designer Erin Kleinberg and stylist Stephanie Mark, who went into the brand’s closet to curate their top picks for FNO, showcased in the windows and in a makeshift closet inside the store. 

At Kenneth Cole’s Broadway store, the designer allotted time for fans to have their picture taken with him. “Tonight is great for New York and the greater fashion community,” said Cole. “It’s great to see so much enthusiasm and energy around what we do in an ordinary course: making, marketing and selling great clothes and accessories.” And at the store, consumers were able to shop to the beat of rock band Parachute, the evening’s guest artists.

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