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Free Booze Keeps Fashion Week Buzzing

By Janet Upadhye | September 10, 2013 2:48pm
 Fashion Week sponsors Beck's and Sweet N' Low made sure Fashion Week goers stayed boozy for the shows.
Beer and Booze Freebies at Fashion Week
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LINCOLN CENTER — New York Fashion Week brings guests glitz and glamour, but for some the greatest perk is free booze.

Nary a fashionista stood without drink in hand inside the Fashion Week tent on Monday night, thanks to Beck's Sapphire and Sweet N' Low, event sponsors that served free beer and Cosmopolitans to guests.

"The first day that we arrived I was shocked at the amount of booze that was here," said fashion publicist Nikki Osei, 29. "I wondered if the goal was to get everyone inebriated so that they'll like the collections more and give better reviews."

Osei, who has been attending Fashion Week for several years, said that each year there is more liquor provided.

"Back in the days of Bryant Park, I don't think there was any alcohol at all," she said.

This year's Fashion Week featured a cash bar in the middle of the tents selling champagne, wine, beer and cocktails, while free drinks were handed out by event sponsors.

Sweet N' Low was mixing their signature "Skinny Cosmo" cocktails and serving the vodka drink in hot pink martini glasses. Sweet N' Low bartenders were expected to mix more than 9,000 free cocktails for guests, according to spokeswoman Monica Oliva.

Beck's Sapphire handed out nearly 800 beers during one hour on Monday night, according to sources inside the kitchen. The beer sponsor was scheduled to do the same each night during the week.

And inside the press area, free wine and beer were given to journalists, bloggers and photographers.

While most Fashion Week-goers stick to one or two drinks, some pour it on.

"The crowds got a little rowdy during the Saturday night shows," said a Fashion Week employee who declined to give her name. A Lincoln Center security guard agreed, saying that a few people had too much to drink on Saturday night inside the tents.

Fashion Week bartender John O'Roscoe said that while most people stay under control, he has "helped a few women walk down the stairs," adding "that's the trouble with mixing alcohol and high heels."

But despite the occasional lush, most people held the liquor well, sipping their drinks with sophistication.

"The alcohol is just a small perk of the week," said fashionista Billie Klein, 30. "There's nothing better than relaxing after a show, sipping a drink and people-watching at Fashion Week."