MIDTOWN — Celebrities, models and bargain queens flocked to Midtown Thursday night to celebrate Fashion’s Night Out.
“They [often] have deals, but not like this,” said Brooklyn’s Javarie Lewis, 18, on his way from Times Square, where he’d hit a long list of stores including Forever 21, Billabong and the Gap, which offered deals and giveaways as part of the third annual event, kicking off New York Fashion Week.
Over at Macy’s Herald Square, the stars turned out to celebrate. Grammy Award-winning singer Joss Stone entertained the crowds on an outdoor stage, while supermodel Karolina Kurkova and basketball star Amar’e Stoudemire met fans during meet-and-greets.
Alfreda Jernigan, 47, who works Downtown, picked the evening’s celebrations as a stand-in for a bridal shower ahead of her Sunday wedding. She could barely contain her excitement as she balanced her loot, including a hot pink blow-up ball, a pink rose and an armload of clothes from designer Rachel Roy, on sale, she said, for 65 percent off.
“I’m excited!” said Jernigan, who lives in Staten Island. “It’s like all the fashion comes out. Everybody’s dressed up. Right before Sept. 11th, everyone coming together, celebrating with celebrities and stars... It’s really nice."
Elsewhere in the building, runway coach extraordinaire Miss. J Alexander, From "America’s Next Top Model" fame, schooled fans in the art of strutting down the catwalk.
“Oh my God! He’s awesome,” gushed Michelle Johnson, 42, clutching an autograph after a long wait in line. “He did a spin. It was really good!” she said.
Brooklyn med student Shereen Mahmood, 26, who was celebrating Fashion’s Night Out for the first time, said she expected to find more of a production, like fashion runways in the streets and more free giveaways. Still, she said she was having a good time browsing the racks with a group of friends.
“This is a lot of fun,” she said.
Retailers participating in the night said crowds were strong and likened the mood to Black Friday, when bargain-hunters descend on the city the day after Thanksgiving, hunting for sales.
“This is the best year, so far,” said Macy’s staffer Tonya Nias, 25. “All of the outfits are fabulous.”
But others spent the evening mostly standing in line.
Emmah Holterhoff, 13, from New Jersey, stood in line for more than three hours outside the Sephora at 1500 Broadway for the chance to meet makeup artist Michelle Phann, whose how-to videos have become a smash-hit on YouTube.
Despite the long wait, her mom, who works in fashion, praised Fashion’s Night Out and its impact on New York.
“I think it was brilliant,” she said, praising its brainchild, Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour. “She’s bringing American fashion to the forefront.”