The third annual Fashion’s Night Out will kickoff Fashion Week on Thursday night with an evening of runway shows, designer sales and celebrity appearances.
Over 1,000 stores and designers will host events throughout the city, celebrating fashion and shopping. Many of them, like Stuart Weitzman, will be using these events to raise money for charity.
Mr. Weitzman will showcase at his 625 Madison Ave. flagship boutique his Young Hollywood Cares Shoe Collection, which celebrities Scarlett Johansson, Olivia Palermo, Michelle Trachtenberg and Hayden Panettiere helped design. The proceeds from these sales will benefit ovarian cancer research by the Folkman Institute in Boston.
“I do a lot of work with celebrities, and we have always tried to bring them into our fundraising efforts,” Mr. Weitzman said. “They really like to help out and give back.”
These four new shoe designs have been in store for two weeks already, and Mr. Weitzman has sold between 70 and 80 pairs so far at $375 to $475 a piece. “IT started out as the most exciting morning of my life,” said the maternity designer Liz Lange, who, long before the date, had circled Sept. 11, 2001, on her calendar. Her first fashion show, under the tents of Bryant Park, was scheduled for 9 a.m. that day.
“It was crazy,” she said. “Everything was happening at once. We were using pregnant models, and instead of water, we had Krispy Kreme doughnuts and bagels backstage. There was so much coverage and excitement about the show that it really was a media circus.
“I had a lot of celebrities there. I remember Billy Baldwin, who was married to Chynna Phillips, who was pregnant at the time, and a lot of socialites: Marina Rust, Elizabeth Saltzman. It was the first maternity show at Fashion Week, and ‘Good Morning America’ and the ‘Today’ show were both so anxious to cover it live that they almost battled it out.
“We were in our own little bubble,” she said. “And then, I’d say 10 minutes into the show, I looked around and all of these camera crews were just bolting out the door. I was wondering: ‘Have we done something wrong? How did we go from being the center of the universe to everyone’s leaving? What’s happening?’ ”
It is but a small footnote to history that the 9/11 terrorist attacks happened on what was to have been the fourth day of New York Fashion Week for the spring 2002 season. Fifty-two collections had been shown since the preceding Saturday at events around the city, which was caught up, as usual, in an array of glamorous festivities.
The previous night, with the ground soaked after a daylong rainstorm, Marc Jacobs had held an extravagant runway show on a Hudson River pier near the West Village that culminated in an enormous outdoor party celebrating his latest fragrance. On Tuesday morning, Ms. Lange’s show was the 53rd, and last, to take place before Fashion Week was called off, the tents evacuated and the 73 remaining events canceled.
In the days that followed, many designers, as they struggled to make sense of their world and resume the daily business of fashion, arranged simple presentations in their showrooms. Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan were among them. Mr. Lauren, in one of his offices on Seventh Avenue, wore a sweater with the American flag in intarsia, and told his audience: “I have always been inspired by America. I have always been inspired by its heroes.”
But for the younger designers, for those with limited financial resources and little work space, there was no viable way to show their collections to the buyers or press. It seemed unlikely that many of their businesses would survive, as retailers began cutting back, especially on untested labels, amid the ensuing climate of fear and economic uncertainty. Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, had encouraged the designers to carry on, but she was surprised when she learned that few of them could afford to do so.
“I had all my editors telling me they’ve lost their deposits, they have no more money, and what should they do?” Ms. Wintour said. “That seemed to me a great opportunity for us to help.”

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