By SAMANTHA CRITCHELL, Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Donna Karan mingled with Miss Piggy, Michael Kors judged karaoke with Kate Upton and Kim Kardashian signed perfume sets Thursday as shoppers broke out their stilettos — and their wallets — for the fourth annual Fashion's Night Out.
The celebrity-studded night lured shoppers into stores for celebrity spotting, music, giveaways, food and drinks, and, just maybe, shopping.
By early evening in New York, the basement beauty floor of Bergdorf Goodman was packed. Madeleine Russell of Manhattan, wearing her FNO shirt from last year, got her nails done ahead of a long line. She attends Fashion's Night Out events every year.
"I'm inspired by all the fashion around me and I get my own ideas," she said.
Like the FNO pro she is, Russell planned to head home from Bergdorf to put on makeup and her Manolo Blahniks to see Cyndi Lauper at the Blahnik store promoting her new musical, "Kinky Boots."
Across town, Kim Kardashian signed $123 gift sets of her perfume True Reflection at Lord & Taylor and was ready to hop a plane to Charlotte, N.C., for an after party for the Democratic National Convention.
"Because it is a lot of running around I wanted to be comfortable," she said. "This Tom Ford dress is, like, stretchy. So at least I'm really comfortable."
Fashion's Night Out — launched in 2009 in New York by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour — has proven so popular that it's now a fixture in some 19 countries, over three weeks involving tens of thousands of shoppers.
By dusk in Paris, the luxury shopping district was awash with thousands of people out to see spectacles like the one at Chloe, where a parade of dancing cheerleaders descended from a Chevrolet truck.
"There are too many people here to buy clothes. But people get to know the brands, and buy another time. Today, it's all about fun," said Corine Marneffe, 50.
In London, models Yasmin and Amber Le Bon (wife and daughter of Simon) were walking in a fashion show at the Westfield shopping center along with Lizzy Jagger (daughter of Mick).
But the splashiest events were in New York, where Donna Karan schmoozed with Miss Piggy at the DKNY store on Madison Avenue, the pig in a black dress designed by Karan herself — fittings and all. The two fashionistas posed together with hunky New York City firefighters featured in the fire department's calendar, their ladder truck parked outside.
Michael Kors helped judge a karaoke contest with Debra Messing and Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover girl Upton at his Madison Avenue store. He called Fashion's Night Out the trifecta: "It's starting the new season, you're excited to see what's in stores. You're reminded it's fun to shop and you can feel the energy."
At the nearby Ann Taylor store, bank worker Lenore Muller of Manhattan headed inside for a chance to be made over by stylist Mary Alice Stephenson and get counted among 50 women to pose in the store's windows for the crowds outside.
"We call it window glamming," Stephenson said.
At Bergdorf Goodman, crowds out to see Victoria Beckham, Rachel Zoe and Robert Verdi wore Burger King-style hats promoting the store. A glass bar in the Donna Karan department shattered and a kid ate ice cream — chocolate — dangerously close to the Pucci department. Nearby Bendel's was too crowded to enter later in the night.
Pharrell was at Bloomingdale's promoting his collaboration with designer Mark McNairy. "It makes sense as fashion has given so much to me for us to try and give back and support the movement for what these guys do," he said.
Not far away was "Twilight" star Kellan Lutz, supporting the bedding collection Charisma. Fortunately, bedding is instrumental to his style. "See, the good thing about being a guy, you get the whole bed-head look waking up," he said.
At the Macy's in Herald Square, 38-year-old customer service rep Keisha Carter from Brooklyn picked up two shirts and a dress on sale, but she admitted she hadn't realized it was Fashion's Night Out — for the second year in a row! She said she enjoyed the energy.
"People are more helpful," Carter said. "There's a busy-ness feeling, even more than usual."