DOWNTOWN STYLE: On September 6th, downtown Portland is rolling out the red carpet for the 3rd annual Fashion’s Night Out. This camera flash-worthy night is when downtown retailers highlight the season’s hottest trends with in-store events, fashion shows and free makeovers in Director Park, not to mention pedi-cab rides to stores and free parking at SmartPark. To learn more, I sat down with Kevin Lennox, producer of the fashion shows to find out more about the gossip and glamour of Fashion’s Night Out in Portland.
So Kevin, what’s your role in this event?
Kevin Lennox: I produce the five fashion shows we hold at Director Park. Which entails casting the models, coordinating outfits with retailers, directing the hair and makeup.... basically everything that goes into putting on a fashion show I’m in charge of.
Okay, so what are going to be this year’s hot fashion trends?
You know one of the greatest aspects of Fashion’s Night Out is that we feature such a wide array of downtown Portland’s best retailers that we’ll really see a little bit of everything. You’ll just have to come see the show to find out what are all the best looks this season.
I noticed Fashion’s Night Out is all downtown. What makes the location unique?
What’s great about the downtown retail scene is that we have such a vibrant and eclectic mix of retailers all in one area. You can go from mass market brands like Macy’s, Banana Republic and Nordstrom all the way to unique local stores like Radish Underground, Frances May, and Parallel. The retail options in downtown kinda make you realize you don’t need to go anywhere else to get everything you want.
Fashion shows are typically very controlled and choreographed. What’s it like putting one together outside in the center of downtown? I’m sure you must have a good story or two…
That’s very true, and the public outdoor aspect of FNO is what truly makes it unique. You never know what will happen and every year it’s different. Like the first year a homeless person told one of the male models he likes his look, and that in a down economy like the one we’re in, we need more people with his look. True story! And last year we had a heat wave the week of the event, and we are showing Fall looks, i.e. lots of layers of wool. That was a challenge for the models to say the least. So each year has its own challenge, but that’s also what makes it fun and exciting.
What’s it like working with models? Be honest…
Honestly the models in this town are pretty great. They are all so respectful and professional, they all get that this isn’t a party for them but a real paying job. It helps that we only work with the major agencies in town to make sure all the models are professionals. I used to work with models in NYC, and you get way more attitude there, here everyone is happy to be working on such a great event for the city.
What is not to be missed this year?
Oh gosh, I’d say the wide array of events that are happening downtown from the fashion shows to raffles to too many in store events to name here, it’s just incredible how much is happening downtown in one night. And with free parking at Smart Park garages from 4-9PM, there’s really no reason not to come check out the action.
Find out more about Fashion's Night Out at: http://downtownportland.org/fashions-night-out/
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Last Updated (Thursday, 30 August 2012 07:01)