NEW YORK— Mayor Michael Bloomberg arrived fashionably late to meet the press outside the Diane von Fürstenberg store for a Fashion’s Night Out event Friday.
“The mayor is coming? I’m going to stick around and ask him to lower my taxes,” a passerby joked.
True, Bloomberg is normally associated with economic initiatives, politics, and of course, taxes. His appearance Friday evening might have seemed counterintuitive to some.
But as Bloomberg mentioned during previous press events, fashion has played a large role in reviving the city’s economy post-recession.
The fashion industry generates almost $2 billion in annual tax revenue. The industry employs 173,000 New Yorkers, or 5.7 percent of the city’s workforce.
The city is the headquarters of more than 900 fashion companies, and is home to the country’s best fashion schools, including the Fashion Institute of Technology, LIM College, Parsons, and Pratt Institute.
New York Fashion Week is held twice a year, and with more than 500 fashion shows attracts an estimated 232,000 attendees annually.
To draw shoppers, several brands held celebrity meet-and-greets on Fashion’s Night Out.
Kim Kardashian signed perfume bottles with a $123 purchase of her fragrance set at Lord & Taylor on Friday. Olympic gold medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and Project Runway designers, including Chris March and Nick Verreos, also signed autographs at the department store.
At last, Bloomberg arrived, and Fürstenberg walked out to greet him with a quick hug and kiss.
At age 65, Diane von Fürstenberg has not lost a drop of her fabulous, lighthearted, charm. “Are we happy to live in New York City?” she asked the crowd rhetorically.
Fashion’s Night Out is an after-hours shopping extravaganza, in its fourth year. This year, according to organizers, events were held in stores in more than 500 cities nationwide, and also in Australia and Milan.
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 19 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.