MR Awards 2018 - Greg Pallante

Mr awards honors seven menswear leaders

by Brian Lipton
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Photos by Greg Pallante

Seven of the menswear industry’s most innovative leaders were honored at MR magazine’s 13th annual awards dinner on Monday, July 23 at the Edison Ballroom. Approximately 300 retailers and manufacturers showed up for the festivities, which was hosted by Wainscot Media and moderated by MR magazine editor-in-chief Karen Alberg Grossman.

The evening began on high note with a toast to Stuart Nifoussi, who has officially retired as the publisher of MR after nearly 30 years. The love and gratitude of everyone in the room for Stu’s guidance and kindness throughout his career could be felt all the way to 47th Street.

This year’s award winners were DXL CEO David Levin (Lifetime Achievement); JCPenney SVP James Starke (Merchant’s Merchant); Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus Men’s Fashion Director Bruce Pask (Fashion Game Changer); Boyds’ owner Kent Gushner (Retail Visionary); legendary designer Gianluca Isaia (Sprezzatura Award); Alex and Mike Faherty, creators of lifestyle brand Faherty (Emerging Brand); and Buck Wimberly and Joey Mendez, owners of Kansas City-based contemporary store ULAH (Rising Retailer).

In heartfelt and often humorous acceptance speeches, each of the honorees not only detailed their varied, and often unusual, paths to success, but lovingly thanked their families, their employees, and the vendor and retail communities for their support and graciousness.

The evening’s presenters included Peerless’ Ronny Wurtzburger (as usual, the funniest person in every room) and John Tighe; former Saks Fifth Avenue president Ron Frasch; Bergdorf Goodman SVP/GMM Melissa Lowenkron; designer Michael Bastian; and Oak Hall’s Will Levy.

As all who were there would undoubtedly agree, the energy in the room was further proof that the menswear industry is not just alive and well, but poised to become stronger than ever.