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'Crazy' Fashion's Night Out Crowds Flood SoHo Streets

By Andrea Swalec | September 7, 2012 8:07am

SOHO — Young fashion plates looking to strut their stuff and gawk at celebrities took to the streets of retail-heavy SoHo on Fashion's Night Out Thursday — drawing dozens of police officers and exasperating some of the neighborhood's residents with noise and disorder.

Some locals said they thought the shopping festivities — created by Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2009 to give a boost to the industry — did more harm than good. 

"People are out here for the booze, not the shopping," said Charm Su, a SoHo resident of more than 20 years, who was out walking her dog during the event Thursday night. 

Su, 49, said the crowds of young people bring trash to the neighborhood and disturb residents. 

"You can't even get into your front door," Su said.

About 11 p.m., a crowd at Broadway and Bleecker Street in NoHo reportedly stomped on a white Audi and smashed its windshield while the driver was still inside, Gothamist reported.

"Giant mob was jumping on, rocking car on broadway and bleecker. Now so many cops," Twitter user @bjm wrote about the incident.

"So this year @ FNO, people were breaking car windows and standing on them," Twitter user @loveMINAA added.

Officers arrested two men, police sources said. They were charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing government administration.

Broadway resident Jim Saisakorn, 39, folded his collapsable bike outside his building as crowds rushed around him Thursday night. He said he liked the notion of supporting the fashion industry — just not on his doorstep. 

"I love the concept, but there's no order," he said. "It's a confluence of crazy." 

Longtime SoHo resident Carlos Albuquerque, 46, smoked a cigar on the northeast corner of Broome Street and West Broadway Thursday night while watching the crowds pass. 

"I kind of wonder, where is the fashion?" he said.

However, fashion fans said they went to SoHo just to see the style sights. 

Menswear designer and Bedford-Stuyvesant resident "Monsieur Belange" said he went for a stroll on Broadway with two friends to show off his futuristic-looking clothes, which include neon yellow zippers and spacesuit-inspired shoulder details. 

"They're very avant-garde, eclectic and futuristic," he said, "and this is the place tonight to show them off."

Bronx resident Pearl Estrella — who wore a purple knit headband, high-necked sleeveless blouse and copper-colored necklace — said she and her friends went to SoHo because it was the neighborhood to see and be seen in. 

"Fashion is my passion," said Estrella, 20. "I can't draw, but I can put on a good outfit." 

Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler got in on the fashion fun, letting fans take photos with her at the Express store on Broadway near East Houston Street. She said she was enjoying her first Fashion's Night Out.

"Everyone here wants to have fun and enjoy fashion," she said.