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They came, they saw, they shopped

All across L.A., designers, retailers and shoppers revved up for the second annual Fashion's Night Out, an evening devoted to style and spending. It appears to have paid off.

September 19, 2010|By Melissa Magsaysay | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Lorena Frcek of Brentwood attended the Neiman's event with her mother, and the two definitely got their shop on, purchasing some black jeans from CJ by Cookie Johnson (which was a featured product after Johnson staged a fashion show using the store's centrally located escalators as a runway) as well as plenty of beauty and skin care products. "I've been shopping at Neiman's for 20 years," said Frcek, who attended Fashion's Night Out in 2009 too. "I had a blast last year, but I definitely bought more this year."

For designer David Meister, his first Fashion's Night Out proved a big success, with sales of his special occasion dresses adding up during his personal appearance on the second floor of the department store. "This is a great event for getting more people out. It makes shopping more approachable," he said "The atmosphere may be like a party, but it also really promotes the retail business. It's a win-win for everyone."

That sentiment rang true with several store owners who saw major foot traffic bringing in new customers. Zainab Sumu, whose boutique Zainab sits farther east on Melrose near La Brea Avenue, had about 80 guests, many of whom snapped up the official "Fashion's Night Out" T-shirt as well as accessories. Sumu, whose boutique has been open for less than a year, said she found the event to be promising. "As time goes on, it will get even better," she said. "I will definitely participate again next year. Next year and [in] the years to come, people will understand that it's a night to support fashion and really buy."

"We doubled a typical Friday in sales," said Beckley owner Melissa Richardson, who had a fleet of pedi cabs running customers from her store on Melrose to neighboring boutiques across La Cienega Boulevard. "Everyone in the community really embraced Fashion's Night Out, and we'll definitely do it again next year. It brings new faces to the store, and it's clear people are really starting to shop again. This feels like a turning point."

Raha Lewis and Daina Beth Solomon contributed to this report.

melissa.magsaysay@latimes.com

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