The fashion industry raised a giant eyebrow when Vogue announced the Fashion’s Night Out kickoff would be held at Macy’s in the Queens Center mall, but Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren shed a little light onto the decision. “We wanted to demonstrate that this is a powerful industry, [and] it’s beyond Manhattan,” he said in his opening remarks to a packed crowd of reporters and consumers. “This is about bringing all the stores together, from the smallest shops to the largest department stores.” Wearing one of his “most high fashion outfits,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg was also on-hand to cheer the “backbone of our city,” and applauded the fashion industry for employing 175,000 people in New York. “We are the fashion capital of the world,” he shouted. Kate Hudson, Diane Von Furstenberg and Michael Kors also made brief appearances on the main stage at Macy’s, and Kors later joined Anna Wintour to sign Fashion’s Night Out T-shirts. (Wintour disappointed many fans, Insider witnessed, by not delivering a speech at the kick-off ceremony.)
One level up in the mall, MTV darlings, sisters and hip-hop royalty Vanessa and Angela Simmons had no problem drawing a crowd to the Underground Station store. As they signed posters and celebrated the launch of Pastry dress shoes, Vanessa Simmons dished to Insider. “This is what we’ve always wanted to do. We started in sneakers and wanted to branch off into dress shoes,” she said. “We just always want to stay outside the box. The possibilities are pretty endless for Pastry.” Simmons was also eager to hit the Fashion Week shows. “As soon I got into the city, I tweeted about how the tents are up and the energy is so high. I love it,” she said, adding that Twinkle, Baby Phat, Y3 and Betsey Johnson are among the shows she’s attending.