WIN­NING SOLES

Footwear News - - CONTENTS - By Jen­nie Bell

De­signer Tabitha Sim­mons is among the 2018 win­ners of the FN Achieve­ment Awards. Read on to dis­cover more hon­orees.

FN fetes the peo­ple, brands and re­tail­ers that have tri­umphed through chal­lenges. Meet the 2018 Achieve­ment Award win­ners.

It has been a year of tremen­dous change in the footwear in­dus­try, as sto­ried brands have found new homes, re­tail­ers have re­cal­i­brated and bud­ding tal­ents gained their foot­ing. ➵ At the 2018 FN Achieve­ment Awards on Dec. 4, the in­dus­try will gather once again at the IAC Build­ing in New York to cel­e­brate these suc­cesses, which are all the more no­table for oc­cur­ring in one of the most chal­leng­ing busi­ness cli­mates of re­cent mem­ory.

“This year was com­plex for a num­ber of rea­sons. The in­dus­try play­ers faced a wildly un­pre­dictable play­ing field,” said Michael At­more, ed­i­to­rial di­rec­tor of FN and di­rec­tor of brand de­vel­op­ment for Fairchild Pub­lish­ing LLC. “Our win­ners should be in­cred­i­bly proud that they not only sur­vived but thrived dur­ing this rev­o­lu­tion­ary pe­riod in fash­ion and re­tail.”

Few fash­ion firms were as as­sertive this year as Au­then­tic Brands Group, which landed three game-chang­ing deals, in­clud­ing its ac­qui­si­tion of Nine West and Ban­dolino, and its pur­chase of Ca­muto Group in part­ner­ship with DSW. For its ag­gres­sive growth moves, FN has se­lected ABG as the Com­pany of the Year.

Also in a buy­ing mood this year was the Per­son of the Year, Diane Sul­li­van. The CEO, pres­i­dent and chair­man of Caleres Inc. snapped up both the Blow­fish and Vionic brands, all while spear­head­ing an ef­fort to pro­mote fe­male lead­er­ship through­out the com­pany.

When it comes to strong

lead­er­ship, though, few are as leg­endary in the re­tail world as Bruce Nord­strom, who will re­ceive the Life­time Achieve­ment Award. Dur­ing his il­lus­tri­ous ten­ure, the fam­ily-run depart­ment store — which be­gan as a shoe re­tailer — grew into a market pow­er­house that con­tin­ues to ex­pand its rule.

The 2018 re­cip­i­ent of FN’s cov­eted Shoe of the Year honor is the Fila Dis­rup­tor 2. While in the past, the win­ners of this ac­co­lade have had celebrity as­so­ci­a­tions, this up­dated sneaker dom­i­nated on its own. The mod­ern, on-trend chunky de­sign ap­pealed to fash­ion-ob­sessed men and women, and be­came an in­stant street-style fa­vorite across the globe.

An­other hot name in the sneaker

“This year was com­plex for a num­ber of rea­sons. The in­dus­try play­ers faced a wildly un­pre­dictable play­ing field.” space was All­birds, the Brand of the Year. Af­ter launch­ing on­line in 2016, the la­bel’s eco-con­scious wool kicks be­came Sil­i­con Val­ley’s go-to shoes, and the rest of the world quickly caught on, with more than 1 mil­lion pairs sold in just over two years.

The ath­letic and fash­ion worlds also united to out­stand­ing re­sult with the Ree­bok x Pyer Moss de­sign part­ner­ship, which cel­e­brated African-Amer­i­can cul­ture. The union, a crit­i­cal and sales suc­cess, has earned the Col­lab­o­ra­tion of the Year award.

The past year was truly a time when the fash­ion in­dus­try em­braced po­lit­i­cal dis­course, as ev­i­denced by Re­becca Minkoff, the win­ner of the So­cial Im­pact Award. The de­signer adopted a new brand phi­los­o­phy built around ac­tivism, and launched a part­ner­ship with the Women’s March to cel­e­brate and em­power in­spir­ing fe­males.

De­signer of the Year Tabitha Sim­mons has be­come a go-to for Meghan Markle and many other trend­set­ters. The style maven has also been be­hind some of the year’s buzzi­est col­lab­o­ra­tions.

For Launch of the Year, FN will rec­og­nize up-and-comer Amina Muaddi, who cut her teeth with the Os­car Tiye la­bel but has now truly stepped into the spot­light with her epony­mous line of glam­orous women’s heels.

In ac­knowl­edge­ment of the cre­ative en­ergy in the men’s and women’s mar­kets, FN has se­lected two de­sign­ers to re­ceive the Vi­vian In­fantino Emerg­ing Ta­lent Award. The hon­orees are Chloe Gos­selin, whose fem­i­nine aes­thetic has evolved into a con­fi­dent state­ment, and Mike Amiri, L.A.’s break­out name in boots.

And in recog­ni­tion of their many con­tri­bu­tions to the footwear in­dus­try dur­ing their ca­reers, FN will in­duct three new mem­bers into the Hall of Fame: de­sign leg­end Pierre Hardy, footwear vet­eran Marc Fisher and re­tail guru Peter Har­ris of Ped­der Group. More hon­orees will be an­nounced in the com­ing days.

The spon­sors for the awards are FFANY, the Footwear Dis­trib­u­tors & Re­tail­ers of Amer­ica, Mi­cam, Zap­pos Lux­ury, Ruffino Wine and Avery Den­ni­son.

Here: Sim­mons’ satin Al­ham­bra pump

Top row: Amina Muaddi, Ree­bok x Pyer Moss on the run­way, Diane Sul­li­van, All­birds’ Tim Brown and Joey Zwill­inger. Bot­tom row: Bruce Nord­strom, Mike Amiri, Re­becca Minkoff, Pierre Hardy, Chloe Gos­selin, Tabitha Sim­mons

Fila Dis­rup­tor 2

Peter Har­ris

Marc Fisher

Jamie Sal­ter and Nick Wood­house of Au­then­tic Brands

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