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DeKalb Market Hosts Fashion's Night Out During its Final Days

By Janet Upadhye | September 7, 2012 8:38am

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Local designers installed a runway of mannequins donning custom-made designs, laid out a red carpet, hung lights and kept their doors open late in celebration of Fashion's Night Out at the DeKalb Market.

But only a few dozen visitors made it out to enjoy the event, which comes as the hip space prepares to close at the end of the month.

"I worked hard all day to set up the market for this event but turnout is low," said Christy Luo who owns the swim and summer wear shop Kooj. "DeKalb Market has been a great place to work but, for now, we all have to move on."

The market, made of salvaged shipping containers, was never meant to be permanent and soon a Century 21 retail store will be built in its place, leaving local vendors scrambling for new spots to sell their goods.

Luo, who has worked at the market for a year, plans to expand her online Etsy store while she looks for an affordable storefront in the area. And others are looking forward to a short break and hope to have a spot in the market when it finds a new home.

"I plan to go to Bali," said Stacey E. Ford, owner of jewelry company Amaya Designs. "My jewelry is inspired by Indonesian and African design, so it fits."

But even as the live band played to a nearly empty house, and one marketplace vendor used the night to pack boxes and close up shop for good, some fashionistas enjoyed the low-key atmosphere.

"All the Fashion's Night Out events in Manhattan are so fancy," said Clare Quinlan who works in Midtown and sat with friends at a picnic table sipping beers. "We wanted to do something more casual."

And to the many vendors who enjoyed their run in the market, Fashion's Night Out provided a positive end to the experience.

"This is a great opportunity for designers who work at DeKalb Market to integrate our styles one last time," said Ford. "And it also keeps our spirits high as we prepare to leave our spaces and move on to new ventures."