Beverly Hills residents and visitors did their part to help the struggling economy during Fashion’s Night Out on Thursday evening—they shopped.
Three blocks of North Rodeo Drive were transformed into a high-end fashion carnival for this year’s festivities. The event was created to boost the economy, put the fun back in shopping and celebrate style.
“Fashion’s Night Out is about making fashion fun,” said Kathy Gohari, regional director of Valentino and an event co-chair. “Where else can you have fashion, food and fun all in three blocks?”
The four-story Ferris wheel that won rave reviews at last year's event, which attracted 10,000 people, was back with complimentary rides for shoppers who had proof of purchase from participating retailers. Looking very fashionable in a black suit with a purple Valentino tie, Beverly Hills Mayor Barry Brucker even went for a ride.
“It was fun and the view over Rodeo Drive was magnificent,” Brucker said. “There’s going to be some fabulous shopping on Rodeo tonight that just can’t be beat. We hope everybody has a good time—that’s what it’s all about.”
The stretch of Rodeo Drive where the event was held accounts for approximately $360 million in annual sales, or nearly $1 million per day.
The evening’s festivities included 100 in-store events, numerous cocktail parties, free makeovers and 17 of Los Angeles’ top gourmet food trucks. Visitors strolling past the boutiques mingled with flamethrowers and stilt walkers from Cirque du Soleil’s new show, IRIS, which is currently playing at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
Beverly Hills resident and USC student Yassi Shamtobi, 21, got her hair styled at Vito Esposito Salon, which had a makeover studio set up in the middle of Rodeo.
“I just had my hair done and I’m very happy with it,” Shamtobi said. “They gave me big curls.”
Alina Timashkova just moved to Beverly Hills and said Fashion’s Night Out reminded her of events held in her native Russia.
“Russia also has fashion nights where they put you in a limo and drive you around the city to all the boutiques,” Timashkova said. “But this is so much more fun because it’s free access for everybody. You walk around with the music playing and you feel like a star.”