Hats, or helmets, off to designer Phillip Lim who put the spotlight on bicycling with neon “Girls on Bikes” window displays, bike parking and a special welcome for visitors who arrived on two wheels at his SoHo boutique for Fashion’s Night Out, the after-hours shopping event that kicked off Fashion Week last night.

SoHo was already so jammed with FNO revelers and outsized promotions by 6:30 p.m. — balloon bunches the size of trees at Marni, a custom-painted truck on a flatbed at Rag & Bone, underwear models in the Calvin Klein windows — that it was hard to navigate the streets. I rolled up to the 3.1 Phillip Lim boutique on Mercer Street, only to find a long line to get in.

But wait, I was a Girl on a Bike!

Door Line Fashion's Night Out - velojoy.com

The line to gain entry to the 3.1 Phillip Lim boutique in SoHo extended down the block.

“You can park right here,” said the friendly door guy, gesturing to an above-grade area in front of the shop. (Good thing, too, because I’d forgotten the keys to my locks.)

After parking my ride, I stepped toward the line.

“Oh, you don’t have to wait,” said the door guy. “Cyclists can come right in.”

A little bonus is always a nice surprise — but even more so when it’s offered in connection with riding a bicycle! I tucked my helmet under my arm and entered the store where a crowd mingled over cocktails to the steady pulse of the DJ and surveyed racks hung with luxurious fall clothes.

I paused to appreciate the Linus Dover 1 bicycle and the Philip Lim “Pashli” messenger bag that were to be raffled. Regrettably, I had to leave for my next FNO stop before Lim’s personal appearance. Per comments from my readers, I had hoped to ask him if he had considered designing helmets to complement the fashions shown in his Girls on Bikes fall/winter 2011 look book film. How great would helmets by Phillip Lim be?

Girls Who Bike - velojoy.com

From left: Allison Burtch and Nora Chovanec with bicycle helmets at hand.

photos: velojoy

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