Events are in the works all over Omaha tonight for Fashion's Night Out from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. .
Fashion Institute Midwest, a nonprofit group affiliated with Omaha Fashion Week, is sponsoring a limo tour of various Omaha boutiques.
Tickets for the tour are $10 and are available at www.omahafashionweek.com. The limo departs from the Omaha Fashion Week pop-up boutique, 12979 West Center Road, at 6 p.m. All shops and the pop-up boutique will also be open to the general public.
Stops will include (list subject to change):
Togs, 26950 Wright Plaza, Suite 155
Skyz Boutique, 16939 Wright Plaza, Suite 114
All About Me! Boutique, 1030 Howard St.
Curbside Clothing, 505 S. 11th St.
Nouvelle Eve, 1102 Howard St
Chocolate Peacock, 2947 S. 108th St.
Post & Nickel, 11015 Elm St.
Roots & Wings, 8712 Pacific St.
The limo will then return to the pop-up boutique, where clothing will be available for purchase by the following local designers (list subject to change):
Casper Couture by Leah Casper
Coriander by Audra McAvaddy
FORTRESS by Ellene McClay
Jessica Alyse by Jessica Hansen
Markoos Modern Design by Aubrey Sookram
Sabrina Jones Designs
Stylishly Chic by Lameesha Stuckey
Other participating retailers:
Charming Charlie, 12320 L St., Suite 109
Free one-year Lucky Magazine subscription with purchase of $35 or more.
Village Pointe, 17151 Davenport St.
Hourly drawings for fashion pieces, mystery offers and refreshments
Elisa Ilana, 13132 Davenport St.
Red carpet, full bar, appetizers and desserts, live DJ, jewelry and clothing styling by She-La Boutique and more
Westroads Shopping Center, 102nd Street and West Dodge Road
Special gift when you sign up for a Torrid credit card
Westroads Shopping Center, 102nd Street and West Dodge Road, and Oak View Mall, 144th Street and West Center Road.
Boutiques across Omaha will stay open late tonight, in hopes of drawing groups of women (and maybe a few men, too) from all over the city.
And they're pulling out all the stops.
They'll set out snacks and wine. They'll offer styling sessions, opportunities to buy one-of-a-kind garments from local designers, swag bags, and, in one case, a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a catalog shoot. Some will have DJs and other entertainment, all to attract shoppers looking to buy some fall styles (or at least try them on), hit the town with their friends and have fun.
The occasion is Fashion's Night Out, a once-a-year national event which started in New York in 2009 and was designed to draw shoppers to brick-and-mortar stores and “put the fun back in shopping,” according to the event's website.
The event, held the Thursday before New York Fashion Week, has spread across the country and around the globe. In Omaha, both independent and chain stores are participating, as are many designers who showed their work during last month's Omaha Fashion Week.
Plus, it's a good excuse for groups of girlfriends to get together, said Brook Hudson, producer of Omaha Fashion Week.
Hudson has organized a limo service to transport women from boutique to boutique (plus a van to carry all the shopping bags). They'll stop at boutiques all over the city, and will end at a pop-up boutique in the former Elan Furniture space, 12979 West Center Road, where Omaha Fashion Week designers will offer clothing and accessories for sale. Hudson organized the tour and the pop-up boutique last year, too. She said everyone had a great time, and she thinks it introduced participants to shops they'd never visited before.
“I think it's just about raising awareness, just (showing) the options that we have in Omaha,” she said.
Caroline Moore Hinrichs, of the event planning company Step Group, agreed.
She is working with Omaha-based fine jewelry retailer Elisa Ilana, 13132 Davenport St., to transform the business's parking lot into an outdoor event center with a red carpet, catalog shoot, full bar, scotch tasting, appetizers, desserts and DJ. Stylists will demonstrate how to pair jewelry available at Elisa Ilana with fashions from She-La boutique. Those who attend will each receive a gift bag, which includes, among other things, a $50 Elisa Ilana gift card.
The jewelry store is based in Omaha, but does most of its business online, Hinrichs said. So throwing a huge party in the parking lot seemed like a way to get the word out.
“People don't realize their storefront is right here in town,” she said.
In search of a girls' night out? Below, some suggestions:
1) Enjoy a drink and get your nails done ... at the same time. Every second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 5 p.m., House of Loom and Sirens Salon pair up for an event they call Martinis and Manicures, which is exactly what it sounds like. For $15, guests can sip a martini after work with friends as they get their nails ready for the weekend. At House of Loom, 1012 S. 10th St.
2) Dress up, head downtown, and drink some wine at La Buvette, 511 S. 11th St., while people watching and sitting on the awesome little patio if it's warm or cool enough. Admire the artful naked vintage photographs in the bathroom, too. Equally great alternatives: Sangria at M's Pub (422 S. 11th St.,) and Moscow Mules at Dundee Cork & Bottle (614 N. 50th St.)
3) Dress down, grab a giant pack of girls and have a DIY ladies-only karaoke night somewhere. (My top spot is the Full House, 6531 Military Ave., in Benson, where you will almost always hear the same women sing songs by Dolly Parton and The Judds.) Try anything by the Dixie Chicks, TLC, Madonna or, if you have the skills, Mariah Carey.
4) Get outdoors. The organizations Women in the Outdoors and Becoming an Outdoors Woman put on ladies-only workshops on how to shoot, camp, snowshoe, canoe, kayak and more. Many activities are in the Omaha area, and a schedule of coming events can be found at http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/Education/Programs/bow/outdoor-workshops.asp.
5) Do some performance art. Head to the Sweatshop, 2727 N. 62nd St., a new women-run art gallery in Benson that almost always has something interactive going on. In the past, the gallery has invited guests to break bottles and get rid of pent-up aggression. This Friday: inter-gender mud wrestling. More info: http://www.facebook.com/sweatshopgalleryomaha.
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