Interview: Shecky's Girls Night Out President Claudia Chan

Get the scoop on Shecky’s Girls Night Out!



Behind the Scenes With…
Shecky’s Girls Night Out president, Claudia Chan

by Bridget Eldridge

Imagine shopping nirvana: four ballrooms lined with booths of up-and-coming designers selling their unique clothing, accessories and more at sample sale prices, a night out with girlfriends, a five-hour open bar and goodie bags brimming over with free stuff. That’s the exact concept behind Shecky’s Girls Night Out, the much buzzed about shopping parties held in the hautest cities around the country.

We headed to the Puck Building in SoHo to check out the latest New York edition of Shecky’s Girls Night Out to find out more.

kellygolightly caught up with Claudia Chan, president and co-owner of Shecky’s, who brought her event and marketing expertise to the company in 2002. Read on for the lowdown on Shecky’s Girls Night Out.

BB: Girls Night Out is not just a fun evening with girlfriends, but a shopping extravaganza with bargains, cocktails, goodie bags and even chocolate fondue. What more could a girl want?

CC: GNO celebrates all the things that girls love. It’s not just a shopping party — we run it as a special event with an open bar for five hours, passed hors d’oeuvres and goodie bags. There are also sponsored booths where women can sample products or enjoy mini-massages from local spas. Women are so busy and GNO is a great way to set aside some time to get together with girlfriends.

BB: Has the word spread about the GNO events? Do they attract women who have to travel to attend the events?

CC: The New York City GNO is very established and women from Long Island and Connecticut come in for the event. There was a busload of 40 women dropped off at the New York GNO this fall. We’re even tapping into an older demographic as women start bringing their moms.

BB: What’s the background on Shecky’s?

CC: Shecky’s was founded 10 years ago as a nightlife guide with bar, club and lounge reviews and ratings for New Yorkers in their mid to late 20s. Today, Shecky’s is the go-to local guide for where to party, how to enjoy the city and how to look good doing it.

BB: When did Shecky’s begin hosting GNO?

CC: The Girls Guide to Nightlife was published late in 2001 when Sex and the City was gaining popularity. The first Girls Night Out was held just after September 11 — it was good to give women in the city something positive.

GNO is the go-to event for savvy, sophisticated, stylish 21 to 35-year-old women who want to be on top of the fashion pulse. You can go to your local Neiman Marcus for the same contemporary brands, but GNO keeps you in the know on lesser-known and unknown designers.

BB: GNO launched in several cities this year, how have the events changed and do you plan to expand into more markets?

CC: The events have grown dramatically since 2001. At the next New York, we expect over 10,000 women to attend the five-night event. We’re adding six markets this year: Miami, Dallas, Philly, DC, the Hamptons and possibly Minneapolis.

BB: Walking through Girls Night Out was like a dream! So many designers, we just wish we had more money to spend! How many designers participate in the event?

CC: About 50-150 designers, depending on the city, participate in GNO. It’s a great marketing and business opportunity for young designers to showcase their goods for consumers who don’t know about them. And it gives the shoppers a chance to meet the designers and maybe ask what inspired a piece, which makes the shopping experience unique.

BB: Do designers from across the country attend the events or do they mainly showcase local designers?

CC: Designers from all over the country fly in for the events. We try to do them in fun cities that people will want to visit.

To see if there’s a Girls Night Out in your city, visit Shecky’s here.


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