Why I’m Boycotting FNO Paris this year

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Yes, I’m boycotting Fashion Night Out Paris. It is certainly becoming a big event and is full of potential, but in Paris at least they have missed the meaning of the concept completely. They have turned it into yet another exclusive event. DON’T WE HAVE ENOUGH OF THOSE IN PARIS ALREADY?

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“Invitation valide for 1 person will be demanded at the entrance of the participating stores. Access may be refused according to the discretion of each store”

Last year I mentioned my distaste at this distortion of an event that Vogue USA and Anna Wintour started in NYC as a way to celebrate fashion and make that glamorous world accessible to all for one night. I love it.  It’s fashion at its democratic finest in the land of the free. But over here in the fashion capital of the world, if you aren’t a preferred client, fashion press or a blogger motivated enough to request an exclusive invitation to individual boutiques in addition to the one offered in Paris Vogue magazine, then you will have doormen refuse you entrance to certain places. As soon as I opened this invitation, I knew I wouldn’t attend. I’d like to join the fun, but as a matter of principal, I can’t bring myself to participate in bringing more snobbery to the already overly hoity-toity Paris fashion world.

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“An exclusive event reserved for privileged clients of the participating houses and the readers of this magazine. ”

WHAT THE F-F-F-FLIPPIN’ FLIP?!?
Really. This invitation annoyed the hell out of me.

In this video Anna Wintour explains what FNO is really about. I’m with her.

“It was an initiative that was open to everybody, which was very important to the mayor, and NYC & Company, and to all of us in the fashion industry.” She said in an interview after NYC’s FNO last year. Her idea behind FNO was to create a “stimulus package” to help the economy in the way she knows best, via fashion. And it worked, because cities all over the USA started creating their own FNO even if there is no specific Vogue publication for that city. Cities all over the world in fact have joined in the effort. But sadly, the Paris effort still doesn’t understand what this “initiative” is for, nor how to reach out to demographics and communities that are not graced with the Paris fashion touch. It’s sad and infuriating to me. And this year I just don’t want to be a part of the Paris FNO.

But I won’t feel bad! Instead of sipping a glass of generic bubbly amongst some group of snooty personalities all milling around a store trying to look important, I’ll be hanging out with a shoe designer sipping old fashion cocktails in the newest hip spot of the South Pigalle quarter, and I’ll be thumbing my nose at Paris Vogue’s FNO.

9 thoughts on “Why I’m Boycotting FNO Paris this year

  1. Good for you, Melissa! I remember going to FNO in NYC and having such fun! There was no ‘selection’ of who could or could not go, it was open for those interested in fashion, as it should be, even here in Paris. I went once here a few years ago (and met you there which was fun), but have no desire to go again and deal with the faux fashion crowds.

  2. I couldn’t agree more. I went for the FNO and was thoroughly disappointed. Horrible crowds and girls who got rejected at the doors in the most snobbish ways…

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  4. Harsh, ladies! I go to FNO here in Paris every year and hope I am not being snowballed into the faux fashion crowd. I go to have fun (#freechampagne) not to think I’m holier-than-thou. Roger Vivier has been the winner every season and puts on a lovely event with flowing Ruinart Champagne, live music from artists on the French indie label Tricatel, which attracts an eclectic crowd as well as a French icon here and there. It really is a good time.

    Some boutiques do put on the ritz and it’s over the top, but not all of us who go are wannabes who buy into it. : )

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