The MR Awards is the largest and most prestigious event on the better menswear calendar, with more than 300 retailers and vendors in attendance. In addition to the new winners, more than 50 past Lifetime Achievement and Hall of Fame honorees are invited to return each year. These include key execs from Harry Rosen, Mitchells, Neiman Marcus, Stanley Korshak, Boyds and dozens of other companies. 2017’s event, honoring Peerless Clothing’s Ronny Wurtzburger, Giorgio Canali, Harry Rosen’s Jeff Farbstein, MartinPatrick3, and AG Jeans drew more than 400 attendees from every corner of the world.
Check out scenes from last year’s dinner below.
14TH ANNUAL MR AWARDS TO HONOR EIGHT MENSWEAR DISRUPTORS
Durand Guion of Macy’s, Gil Szczesny of the Italian Trade Agency, and East Dane will be among the honorees at the 14th annual MR Awards dinner, to be held on Monday, July 22 at the Edison Ballroom in New York City.
The annual MR Awards event recognizes industry innovators who have had a profound impact on the men’s apparel and accessories business. It is one of the most anticipated events in the industry, and with attendance limited to 300 guests, it’s always a sellout. In addition to the honorees and participating vendors, MR invites about 100 VIP retailers, including past recipients of our Lifetime Achievement and Hall of Fame awards.
This year’s eight honorees, each impacting the industry in an important way, are as follows:
Department Store Fashion Ambassador: Durand Guion, Macy’s
Not only has Durand discovered and developed fabulous fashion brands for Macy’s (where he’s spent the past 29-years) but he’s widely respected for helping the vendor community finetune their collections based on his exceptional taste level and keen understanding of the consumer. In the process, he’s earned the admiration of colleagues throughout the industry for his integrity, for his work with Macy’s many charitable causes, for the time and direction he gives to young people coming into the industry, and for his innovative merchandising ideas. A true gentleman, and always the epitome of modern style!
Men’s Specialty Retailer of the Year: Stuart and Barry Segel, Mr. Sid
Among luxury menswear stores in America, those that remain are clearly the best of the best. What stands out about Mr. Sid is not just the Segel’s focus on the world’s finest menswear (a roster of exceptional international brands) and their recent investments in the business but also their unique ability to create enjoyable experiences for their customers. Grooming salons in both stores (Newton Center and Boston Seaport), seasonal look books created for individual customers, exotic travel opportunities for client friends, and much more, Stuart and Barry Segel are always finding interesting ways to make business fun while generously giving back to the communities that support them.
Social Responsibility Award: James Bartle, Outland Denim
About eight years ago, James Bartle became focused on two disparate trends: the increasing tragedy of human trafficking (25 million people globally work in forced labor; 4.8 million of these are sex workers) and the willingness of young consumers to pay more for brands with a conscience. And so, the business model for Outland Denim was born: working with rescue agencies in Thailand, Cambodia and Burma, Bartle began hiring young people who wanted to change their lives, teaching them business skills and moving them up in the company as they proved their commitment. It’s a fabulous story (and the jeans—launched in Australia and North America in 2016– are fabulous too)!
Best Emerging Brand: Stantt
Few other companies have disrupted the menswear industry like Stantt, co-founded in 2013 by Kirk Keel and Matt Hornbuckle. Its exclusive technology creates 99 proprietary sizes and an algorithm requiring only three measurements to enable a perfectly fitting shirt (and soon pants). All garments are made-to-order and delivered in an unprecedented seven days. But beyond their innovative technology, unrivaled customer service and exceptional product, Stantt has retailers ecstatic about their sell-throughs! Merchants who carry the brand boast doubling and tripling their custom shirt business by giving their customers a new reason to come into the store (and to keep coming back!)
Retail Vision Award: Bodega
Known for its unusual storefront, the Boston-based contemporary retailer is hidden behind an entrance disguised as a convenience store, known colloquially in Boston and New York as a bodega. Having just opened a second location in downtown Los Angeles last year, the now bi-coastal aperture of all things streetwear and sneakers is making its mark among a younger generation looking for unique fashion. Pairing its distinctive merchandise mix with a successful e-commerce site and unique in-store experience, Bodega sets the standard for what makes a store cool.
Italian Men’s Style Ambassador: Gil Szczesny, Italian Trade Agency (ITA)
No one has done more to promote Italian menswear in the States than Gil Szczesny—working with the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) to help Italian brands get a foothold in U.S. stores. With her charisma, determination and charm, Gil has personally assisted family-owned artisanal brands find a place in American stores and has helped many a U.S. retailer grow their made-in-Italy business. As a result, more U.S. stores now carry more fabulous Italian fashion and American men are finally learning the art of uncontrived elegance. Known to be both opinionated and diplomatic, Gil consistently make things happen with her own unique blend of glamour, smarts, and style!
Online Retailer of the Year: East Dane
As one of the first online-only menswear retailers to embrace editorial content as a way to drive online sales, East Dane has had proven success in marketing to consumers who are increasingly buying clothing online. A subsidiary of Amazon, East Dane was launched in 2013 as the brother site to popular Shopbop.com, both of which are noted for mixing editorial and commerce. Its approachable mix of brands from Billy Reid to Faherty blends well with fashion brands like Y-3 and AMI. Throw in some compelling editorial features and you’ve got a winning combo.
Menswear Influencer of the Year: Johannes Huebl
He’s 41 years old, gorgeous and married to beautiful entrepreneur and fellow influencer Olivia Palermo. But despite his celebrity status and good looks, German-born model and business consultant Johannes Huebl is genuinely charming, intelligent, and very down to earth. In fact, among Huebl’s multitude of projects, he’s working on developing his own line of sartorial menswear classics that he hopes to launch in the near future, as well as other co-branded capsule lines with premium menswear vendors. (He’s also quite generous in sharing personal style tips with his one million plus followers!)