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Fashion Night Out

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Fashion enthusiasts from across the Kansas City area joined in with Chicago, New York City, and LA among other high profile cities around the globe as one of the biggest nights in the fashion world took place. Thursday, Sept. 8 from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. marked the official annual Fashion’s Night Out (FNO) of 2011. This year was Kansas City’s first time partaking in the three-year-old shopping party extravaganza. The town took full advantage of the event as Zona Rosa, Power and Light District, and the Country Club Plaza were all actively involved.

Being that UMKC is blocks away from the Country Club Plaza, FNO was the perfect outing for students living on campus. The entertainment factor at the Plaza location was at a maximum.

Live performances could be heard throughout the courtyards. Soul-moving jazz and blues was played by a band named Grand Marquis right outside Banana Republic while an acoustic bongo-drumming and guitar strumming duo made sweet sounds inside of Gap. Gap made a huge hit with customers by serving beer, wine, coffee and snacks. They also gave a 25 percent discount to customers who gave a $10 donation to AIDS Services of KC.

Not far away, Massage Envy performed free chair massages outside of The North Face. Victoria’s Secret set up an appealing stand where women could try various perfumes, body shimmers, and lip glosses. Ink & Spaces made people feel like real life celebrities with their VIP-styled red carpet photo op near the new Michael Kors store. With them was one of KC’s hottest DJs, Ashton Martin, whose summer hits of the ‘90s and today attracted passersby from all over the Plaza.

Turn the corner and there was the Bo Ling family giving away their sweet treats of homemade almond cookies and fortune cookies. Bo Lings passed out coupons for 20 percent off dinner entrées, too. Further down the street, people could enjoy courtesy champagne and a carriage ride. More than 70 stores in the Country Club Plaza participated in Fashion’s Night Out, but it was Halls that really had the party jumping.

It, too, had an incredible DJ whose music was more of the techno, club genre. Onlookers couldn’t help but notice the glamorous, live models perched high above sales counters as they entered the store. A juice bar on both levels served a fun complimentary concoction of pink lemonade and gin. Tony, the bartender downstairs, had a great time smiling and laughing with the public as they came by to have a glass of the fun cocktail.

Halls was also pretty popular for its edible and wearable arm candy. But most people just heard about the creative delicacy because the store ran out fairly quickly. “We had over 300 arm candies that were completely gone by 6:30,” a sales associate said.

In addition to the DJ, the models, the cocktails, and the candies, Halls also gave away more than $8,000 in prize drawings that included various gifts ranging from fragrances to iPads. With this being the first time Kansas City was included in FNO, it was definitely a smashing success that hopefully citizens will be able to enjoy again next year.

kparker@unews.com

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