Cranking out a whopping 30 million shoes a year for popular brands such as Guess, Tommy Hilfiger and Kendall + Kylie, perhaps it’s no surprise that Marc Fisher Footwear was honored as company of the year at the American Apparel & Footwear Association’s 39th Image Awards.
The event, held in New York on Monday night, also honored Andrew Rosen, founder and CEO of Theory (person of the year); Stuart Vevers of Coach Inc. (Designer of the Year); Nick Graham (Fashion Maverick); and former WWD editor-in-chief Ed Nardoza (Lifetime Achievement Award).
Marc Fisher, founder of Marc Fisher Footwear, and the company’s president Susan Itzkowitz were on hand to accept the company of the year honors.
“The shoe business is a tough business — especially these days,” Fisher said when he took the stage. “All I do is work on product 24/7 non-stop — that’s all I do. I’m lucky because I have a team that takes care of everything that needs to get. It’s all about the passion, dedication, drive and everyone in our company that really makes it work.”
Marc Fisher is also the footwear licensee for the first daughter’s namesake label the Ivanka Trump Collection, which Trump stepped away from in January to join her father in Washington.
“We work endlessly to figure out what women want to wear — and it’s really a challenge,” said Fisher, who is fourth generation shoe maven and the son of Nine West co-founder Jerome Fisher, who passed away in 2016. “We’re all about making fashionable, beautiful and let’s not forget comfortable shoes. Our commitment to working and collaborating with our customers has been pivotal to our success.”
Like Marc Fisher, Itzkowitz also noted that the current retail environment has been challenging but that the company had found ways to forge ahead.
“We believe first and foremost in a commitment to quality — quality first of our people [and then] quality of design, quality of manufacturing and quality of fit,” Itzkowitz said. “Behind each and every shoe deliver, there is a hugely talented and passionate group of individuals — from our design teams to our sourcing team to our sales team and our marketing team. This has helped us to thrive despite the ever-changing retail environment.”
The AAFA represents more than 1,000 footwear and apparel brands as a public policy and political advocate in Washington. Its annual Image Awards celebrates innovation and leadership throughout the fashion industry.
This year’s event benefited the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative, a program within the Council of Fashion Designers of America Foundation that supports domestic production by connecting fashion designers to local manufacturing.
Last night’s soiree — hosted by award-winning actor Alan Cumming — brought out designers, fashion industry executives and celebrities, including Kenneth Cole, Ruthie Davis, Cynthia Rowley, Emma Roberts, super model Niki Taylor, Bill Nye “The Science Guy” and retail execs from Neiman Marcus, Macy’s and Bloomingdales.