The Hot List: FN Unveils 2012 Achievement Award Winners

Big acquisitions. Bold retail concepts. Powerful brands. Inventive designers.

In a memorable year for the industry, the Footwear News Achievement Award winners stand out from the rest of the pack.

For the second year in a row, FN will present the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award. This year’s event will also honor 10 outstanding companies, brands, retailers and designers, as well as three Hall of Fame inductees.

“Our diverse group of honorees represents the year’s biggest successes and best stories,” said Michael Atmore, editorial director of FN. “The lineup is a testament to the incredible level of talent in the business and proves that the industry is in a stronger position than ever before.”

The 26th annual, invitation-only event, sponsored by FFANY, will be held on Nov. 27 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Design veteran Stuart Weitzman will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, named in honor of last year’s inaugural recipient, Manolo Blahnik. Weitzman, who marked his 25th anniversary last year, is one of the most dedicated designers in the business. He is forging ahead with aggressive global expansion and new product extensions, such as this year’s SW1 brand debut.

Weitzman has been on the FNAA stage several times before. He received the Person of the Year award in 2002 and was inducted into the FN Hall of Fame a year earlier. 

Wolverine World Wide Inc., which inked this year’s largest acquisition when it snapped up Collective Brands Inc.’s Performance & Lifestyle Group for $1.23 billion, has been chosen as the Company of the Year.

The Retailer of the Year award will be given to Macy’s, which this year fired the biggest shot yet in the department store shoe wars with its massive new Herald Square women’s footwear department.

Foot Locker, which has delivered consistently impressive results with must-have product and unique marketing, will be honored as the Athletic Retailer of the Year.

Brand of the Year Sam Edelman ruled the burgeoning contemporary space with hot product, edgy marketing and a new Big Apple store.

With a laser focus on running, Brooks Sports, the second Brand of the Year, raced to the top of the category by sticking to its biggest strength: performance running shoes.

The Designer of the Year Award will be given to Charlotte Olympia Dellal, who has translated her glamorous style and quirky sense of humor into a much-sought-after footwear collection that pushes the design envelope.

Marketer of the Year Rebecca Minkoff also knows how to break new ground. The company’s fresh, fun, social media strategy proved that a little out-of-the-box thinking can go a long way.

Industry legend Bob Campbell will receive the second Icon Award for Social Impact for his far-reaching philanthropic work inside and outside of the industry with a variety of organizations.

Sophia Webster, the recipient of the Vivian Infantino Emerging Talent award, is the launch story of the year. Her collection has attracted the attention of nearly every major retailer worldwide, thanks to feminine, whimsical designs and a focus on the high-contemporary market.

FN’s three Hall of Fame inductees have dramatically changed the footwear landscape during the past several decades.

Ron Frasch, Saks Fifth Avenue’s president and chief merchandising officer, has been responsible for catapulting the careers of many luxury footwear designers and is an ardent champion of new talent.

Pentland Group Chairman Stephen Rubin built a powerful family company with a combination of business savvy and brand prowess.

And Ron Fromm, Brown Shoe Co.’s chairman, helped grow the firm into an industry powerhouse and has been a major force on the boards of FFANY, Two Ten Footwear Foundation and the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America.

Finally, in a new addition to the FNAAs, Tabitha Simmons will receive the inaugural Style Influencer Award for her far-reaching impact on the fashion world this year.

In addition to designing her own elegant collection, Simmons has collaborated with a host of trendy ready-to-wear players and styled shows for major names.

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