This time of year, the trendy types invade Manhattan — editors in oversized sunglasses, bloggers in ankle boots, publicists in black . . . but if that weren't evidence enough of the hold fashion has over this city, Fashion's Night Out sealed the deal Thursday.
Armed with shopping bags and event schedules, and dressed to impress, revelers crowded sidewalks, waited in line to enter their favorite stores and rushed to hail cabs to the next soiree, turning Fifth Avenue into a battlefield for the sweaty-chic.
At Lord and Taylor, getting to the third floor was a struggle, as crowds of fans waited in line for a moment with reality star Kim Kardashian.
Amanda Pero, 17, of Hewlett and her friend Dana Zuller, 17, of Woodmere were among the shoppers waiting to meet Kardashian. They also had plans to continue to other stores later in the night.
"A lot of places are giving out free clothing and having cool events," Pero said, "but there are too many people. It's crazy."
Farther uptown at Henri Bendel, a Cirque du Soleil theme drew crowds with "Zumanity" performers scattered throughout the store in Swarovski crystal-encrusted costumes by designer Thierry Mugler.
"Henri Bendel is one of my favorite stores where I get all my jewelry," said Lisa Pastrich, 29, of Dix Hills. "The crowd here is so energetic; it's an amazing event. If you love fashion, why wouldn't you want to be here?"
Meanwhile, department store giant Macy's Herald Square seemed to have a different celebration on every floor. The festivities even spilled onto the street, where a DJ pumped up partyers and passersby.
On the second floor, the new Shoe Salon was unveiled in its entirety for the first time, with designer Michael Kors on hand to lead the celebration. It is now the largest shoe department in the world.
Fans also scanned the store for reality stars Scott Disick, Bethenny Frankel and Emily Maynard, and women gathered for advice from style expert Clinton Kelly.
"Every woman needs a shopping budget," Kelly said. "Split your budget 50 percent classics and 50 percent trends. . . . Trends keep you relevant, and classics keep you mature."
For Maria Hanophy, 18, of Albertson the night was an opportunity to introduce her new friends at Fordham University to Manhattan.
"We're freshmen, so we're new here, and we all just wanted to come out and have fun," she said, adding that they were hoping to spot a certain celebrity crush. "We love Darren Criss . . . he's amazing," she said of the "Glee" actor.
Pictured: Shoppers crowd the floor at Henri Bendel during Fashion's Night Out in Manhattan. (Sept. 6, 2012)