Fashion’s Night Out 65 Venues Dazzle and Thrill

by Aemelia Tripp | photos by Two Eagles Marcus

Jim Murray

Fashion’s Night Out hits Grand Rapids on September 6, promising to thrill once again. FNO pros, Amy Carpantier and Jim Murray of A.K. Rikk’s, organize the event in Grand Rapids for a third time. “This year is extra-special for us because of our store’s new location,” Amy notes. A.K. Rikk’s is not the only store ready to have a good time. Jim comments on the participating stores collectively, “You should expect games, performers, refreshments, giveaways and many exciting surprises. But ultimately, the night is about shopping. We want to showcase what some exceptional local retailers have to offer. We all have a couple tricks up our sleeve.”

Mirroring Fashion’s Night Out in cities all over the world, 65 restaurants, shops, and salons all over Grap have been busy planning for this special night. The only standing stipulation: All participating stores will stay open from 6-10 pm, offering an extravagant night of shopping, dining, and sampling. Free trolleys stop at various FNO hubs in 15-minute intervals. And, at every retail location, you can expect one or all of the following: 1. Some form of entertainment and/or demonstration 2. Champagne, wine, or other delicious beverage with hors d’oeuvres and 3. Giveaways, raffles, and free samples galore. Of course, the night wouldn’t be a total glamour package without a fabulous after party at Rockwell’s/Republic.

In Eastown, you’ll get a “Mad Night of Fashion” with live decade models (retro to modern) at Moxie Beauty and Salon. Moxie teams up with One Girl’s Treasure and Hyper- Optik for a glamorous red carpet night. Rob of HyperOptik gives us the low-down, “We’re creating a red carpet, 1950’s glam theme party. It’ll be a fashion package of sorts with One Girl’s Treasure for clothes and accessories, Moxie’s for hair and make-up styling tips, and glasses at HyperOptik to top off your look. We’ll also have a free photobooth and roaming paparazzi to capture all your perfect moments.” With mad fashion comes mad circus performers! At the Richard App Gallery, JD Urban, innovative New York City street photographer and creator of The Everyday People Project, will unveil his latest work, Terry Johnson will display his latest photos, and you see fashion’s from AK Rikk’s as well as t-shirts from local clothing line Bread Breakers. An array of boutiques and salons are within walking distance including Sight Optical, Clothing Matters and Rock Paper Scissors Consignment Boutique (Trolley Stop).

As you walk downtown, you may run into Knotty Bits Sideshow performers juggling, spinning fire, stilt walking, and even flying through the air. Crazy! The Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) store is excited for its first year of Fashion’s Night Out with local scarf and jewelry designers’ trunk shows, champagne, and giveaways. “We’re looking forward to it,” comments Sharon of the GRAM, “It will be a really great night and we’re very excited to participate in Fashion’s Night Out with the rest of the town this year!”

Rockford’s Bow Dacious Designs, Paperdoll and Jade all join in on the excitement too.

Expect to “Get Glam in the Gaslight” where participating stores will each serve a cocktail of their choice. Hot Mama boasts a red carpet, live models with the latest fall fashions, and champagne and strawberries. “We’re just trying to take it to the next level; a little fancier than the last few years,” says Hot Mama owner Lisa Jabara. When you need directions or a trolley schedule, visit Brush Studio, the information hot spot for the night. Things get fancy at Breton Village Mall, too!

Enjoy live acoustic music at JB and Me and don’t forget to add your name to their hourly $200 gift certificate drawing and boot giveaway! While you’re there check out the earthly autumn color pallete and the cute shoes.

Leigh’s will have a very Italian party, introducing the latest fall fashions from their favorite Italian designers, including Armani for Women. Owner, Rebecca Wierda, says, “We’re celebrating Italian fashion and culture; our store will be brimming with the best of fall style.” You’ll see slithery great reptilian inspired looks from Lafayette 148, Marc Cain, BCBG Max Azria, Etro and more. Be sure to look for the “wet windshield” fabrics by Daniel Vosovic.

Fashion’s Night out at Leigh’s dazzles and delights with haute Italian design, cinema, glamour and culture, complete with paparazzi on hand. At Leigh’s “everyone walks the red carpet,” Patrick Plank reveals.

You do not want to miss anything happening on 28th Street either. The highlight is A. K. Rikk’s new store. They will have an indoor and outdoor carnival themed party that Jim Murray declares, “will be crazy.” In the best way possible, of course.

The night isn’t over until you stop by Rockwell’s/Republic for a fabulous $5 after party with three different dj rooms, food, wine, and models from the Matthew Agency showing off clothes from local boutiques. With an undercover air, Fashion’s Night Out coordinator Jim Murray says of the after party, “They’ve been keeping the details pretty secret, so expect something fabulous.”

So there you have it; a night of non-stop glitz and glamour with a giant helping of fun. If I were you, I would spread this inside information around, break out your friends and fancy-wear, and head out for a spectacular, unforgettable night of fashion.

Gina’s Boutique and Lia Rose
$10 Gift Certificate giveaways for your next visit, red carpet, DJ, hors d’oeuvres

Bella Furs
Roses give away, courtesy of Crescent Floral, raffle for Pashmina scarf and fur trim glove, champagne and a chocolate fountain.

Bow Dacious Designs
Celebrating FNO with refreshments and prizes.

FNO tote with goodies, 3 giveaways: membership to museum, FNO t-shirt, A Year in Fashion book, local weaver featuring her creations for men and women, trunk show by local jeweler, champagne and hors d’oeuvres

Minty Keen
“FNO week is our store’s 2 year anniversary, so we’re working off the circus theme, trying to incorporate some fun vintage prom dresses for a big 2 year anniversary party.” – Angie Seabert, Minty Keen owner

Sight Optical
“We will offer our unique, world-class eyewear alongside food and drinks.” – Mike McConnell, Sight Optical owner

Seva Yoga
15% discount on everything FNO only, 2 yoga classes (6 and 7:30), Michelle Fife will demonstrate the do-it-yourself facial mister.

Sydney’s Boutique
Kristain Grant celebrates the opening of her new Eastown location with a DJ, giveaways, appetizers, drinks and guest stylists.

Fashion’s Night Out: September 6, 2012 | Start and end times vary for each location. Prime time is 6 to 10 pm. Find a list of all 65 FNO participants, sign up for event updates, download trolley guide and see map at



Aemelia Tripp is a marketing/ PR intern at Women’s Lifestyle Magazine. She attends Calvin College and is entering her senior year as a Strategic Communications major. Aemelia enjoys bike rides and singing jazz songs.




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