Wolverine World Wide, Inc. will be honored with the Excellence in Lifestyle Branding Award at the American Apparel & Footwear Association's (AAFA) 31st Annual American Image Awards to be held on May 12, 2009 in New York City. Blake W. Krueger, the Company's CEO and President, will accept the award, which recognizes Wolverine's success in building one of the most diverse and preeminent portfolios of footwear and lifestyle brands in the industry.
Other corporations and individuals to be honored at AAFA's 2009 American Image Awards include QVC (Retailer of the Year); Gilbert Harrison, founder and chairman of Financo, Inc. (Lifetime Achievement); Norma Kamali (Designer of the Year); and Lily Pulitzer (Spirit of a Woman Award).
During 2008, Wolverine celebrated its 125th anniversary by marketing nearly 48 million pairs of footwear globally and delivering its eighth consecutive year of record revenue and earnings. This success is derived, in part, from the Company's strong and extensive portfolio of footwear and lifestyle brands, which includes Bates, Caterpillar Footwear, Chaco, Cushe(TM), Harley-Davidson Footwear, Hush Puppies, Merrell, Patagonia Footwear, Sebago and Wolverine. These brands reach consumers through owned-wholesale operations which cover North America and Europe, and a network of independently owned distributors and licensees servicing 180 countries. The foundation of this global brand network dates back to 1959, when the Company had the foresight to introduce the new Hush Puppies brand to international markets through licensing programs in Canada, the United Kingdom and Japan.
“We are very honored to join such an accomplished group of our industry peers in receiving this important recognition from AAFA,” said Krueger. “Wolverine's track record in lifestyle branding is a clear testimony to the passion and dedication of our entire global team of nearly 4,600 associates and our international distributors and loyal retail partners. Success always begins with people, and we have one of the best teams in the industry and a performance culture that binds us together. Over the last few years, we have added many skill sets to our team as we are transforming the Company from a leading global branded footwear marketer to a multi-brand global marketer of footwear, apparel and accessories.”
The AAFA is the national trade association representing apparel, footwear and other sewn-products companies, and their suppliers, who compete in the global market. Since 1977, AAFA's American Image Awards have honored those in the footwear and apparel industries who have exemplified leadership, excellence and outstanding achievement – from education and design to manufacturing and retailing. The 2009 Awards will benefit a charitable foundation of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) that is dedicated to nurturing and educating future leaders of the fashion industry.