The Accessories Council is holding its 17th-annual Accessories Council Excellence Awards tonight at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. Here, the honorees.
LEGACY AWARD: THE FRYE COMPANY
A Q&A with Dow Famulak, chief executive officer of LF USA and LF Europe, which are part of Li & Fung, the parent company of Frye:
WWD: For the first time, the Accessories Council is honoring a company with the Legacy Award, which signifies longevity in the industry. After 150 years in the shoe business, has it been a challenge for Frye to remain fresh and original? Dow Famulak: Frye is an enduring American heritage brand that offers a new discovery for each generation. By remaining true to the core values of the brand, we maintain excitement across generations. Good craftsmanship and quality product are two things that never go out of style.
WWD: The “Legacy Award,” recognizes an individual or organization that has demonstrated excellence and made extraordinary contributions to the industry for 50 years or more. What are some key contributions you have made throughout the years? D.F.: There have been so many milestones over the 150 years of the brand. We are very proud of the fact that mothers and daughters have bought their Frye boots together. Proud of the fact that since 1998, when we reintroduced the brand, we have been able to not only sustain but drive core family and generational values.
WWD: Please tell me about how Frye has expanded in terms of product. D.F.: We are delighted that consumers have responded so well to Frye’s expansions into a broader range of footwear, bags and accessories. This has been a natural and organic growth for us. Because Frye is rooted in strong foundational elements, the creative team has a myriad of opportunities to be more creative. Our promise as guardians of the brand is to remain true to core values that were put in place in 1863.
WWD: For the coming year, what does Frye have planned in terms of retail expansion? D.F.: In 2013, we were fortunate to be able to add three more flagship stores, in Boston, Georgetown and Chicago. This gave us even more opportunity to show the entire breadth of our work and talk directly to consumers. In 2014, we are looking for more opportunities to tell our story and connect with our customers.
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