Hoping for a "shot in the arm," retailers bring out the clothes and deals for Fashion's Night Out
In Southern California, parties, special appearances and discounts were planned from Pasadena to Newport Beach with the aim to get shoppers to open up their wallets and spend.
At the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took to the stage in the mall's Center Court around 5 p.m. to kick off the festivities. He was flanked by a horde of personalities including Black Eyed Peas singer will.i.am, Vogue West Coast Editor Lisa Love, "Dancing With the Stars" professional dancer Edyta Sliwinska and mall and retail executives.
"Today, we celebrate retail," Villaraigosa said. "Today, we're saying to all of you: We want you to shop until you drop."
Celeb blogger Perez Hilton and Stephanie Pratt of "The Hills" fame then led a countdown to the start of the show -- but not before shamelessly plugging their latest ventures (a fashion blog for him, a new line of handbags for her).
A half-hour fashion show featuring looks from many of the mall's stores -- including Bloomingdale's, Guess, Macy's and Traffic -- followed. Thousands of shoppers flooded Center Court and looked on from the upper levels, cheering as their favorite retailers were represented.
As expected with such a diverse lineup of retailers, the fashion show was eclectic, with looks ranging from classic American to preppy to nightclub-ready.
Apart from the hoopla in Center Court, the stores themselves enticed shoppers with special offers and treats throughout the night: XXI Forever had an in-house DJ, Chinese Laundry was twirling pink gobs of cotton candy, and Charles David was urging shoppers to register online for a chance to win 10 free pairs of shoes.
In an interview with The Times at the mall, Villaraigosa said he hoped Fashion's Night Out would give the stores a "shot in the arm" while providing much-needed sales tax revenue for city services.
-- Andrea Chang
Photos: (Top) will.i.am and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa encourage shoppers to spend. (Bottom) Models on the runway at the Beverly Center on Friday. Credit: Andrea Chang
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