Kendall Reynolds, 23, recognized for design excellence for Pout Boot

Kendall Reynolds, CEO and design director of Kendall Miles Designs, has been awarded the highly coveted Golden A’ Design Award in the Footwear, Shoes and Boots Design category for her Pout Boot. A’ Design Award & Competition is the world’s largest international design competition; submissions are reviewed anonymously by an internationally influential jury of scholars, press members, design professionals and entrepreneurs. Winners were selected based on superior design, technology and creativity.kendall-reynolds

A’ Design Awards were established to create awareness for good design practices and principles. The aim of the international competition is to build strong incentives for designers, companies and brands to develop better products, services and systems that benefit mankind. To that end, the competition is designed to inspire designers and brands to create products and projects that offer additional value, increased utility, new functionality, superior aesthetics, exceptional efficiency, improved sustainability and remarkable performance.

“My goal is to develop innovative designs that push boundaries, yet are beautiful and empower women to embrace their desire for compelling footwear,” said Reynolds. “To be recognized for excellence by the prestigious International Design Academy for following my passion is an incredible honour.”

The Pout Boot, available in olive, black and bone calf, features an inventive removable pocket with handsome diamond dust hardware that doubles the appeal of the street-savvy boot since it can be worn two ways. With its audacious, ankle-hugging silhouette; transformative strap-on pocket and season-defying colours, it can be worn year-round.

Another luxurious aspect of the Pout Boot is its fabrication out of custom-dyed calf with a semi-shiny finish, leather-covered heels, a hidden back zipper and leather lining with double padded leather insoles.

Kendall Miles LogoSince launching Kendall Miles Designs in 2015, Reynolds has quickly become one of the hottest names in women’s luxury footwear, appearing on ‘Trendsetter’ lists for Ikram, Footwear News and Black Enterprise and worn by Hollywood fashionistas including Vanessa Hudgens and Hailey Baldwin.

Founded by Kendall Reynolds, Kendall Miles Designs is a luxury fashion house focusing on women’s footwear. Reynolds attended the world-renowned fashion school Ars Sutoria in Milan, Italy, where she learned the demanding technical process of shoe design and construction from the masters. Today, all Kendall Miles shoes are handcrafted in Florence, Italy, using the most venerated traditional construction techniques applied to the finest leathers and the most innovative materials available globally.  


Promising designer wins KappAhl Sustainable Design Contest 2017

A unanimous jury has named fashion student Kim Linghoff winner of the KappAhl Sustainable Design Contest 2017. The winning entry is about upcycling and puts excess yarn otherwise wasted in clothing production to use

The winning entry showcases smart design with a view to a sustainable fashion future.

Kim’s upcycling idea is playful, tasteful and innovative. We see a lot of potential to create something really interesting with Kim,” says Maria Segergren, Vice President, Assortment and Design.

The KappAhl Sustainable Design Contest is a competition for fashion and textiles students who would like to get involved in developing the sustainable design solutions of the future. This year’s winner is Kim Linghoff, a 28-year-old student of fashion at Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm. Her winning entry is based on the idea of making use of excess yarn from clothing production to create modern knitted garments

The jury’s statement reads, “This year’s winning entry is about upcycling. Kim Linghoff has shown how we can both playfully and tastefully combine newly produced materials with excess materials from previous production to make new and exciting knitted garments. A smart way of breathing new life into waste materials instead of throwing them away.”

Kim Linghoff “As a designer, I neither want nor need to choose between sustainability and high fashion. The tops I designed for my entry stand out and demand attention. Sustainable, knitted garments don’t need to be plain, practical things that just hang off you; these are tops that I would want to wear myself,” says Linghoff.

This autumn, Linghoff will develop her solution together with KappAhl’s design team. 

The KappAhl Sustainable Design Contest

Over 80 % of a product’s environmental impact is determined at the drawing board. This makes sustainable design a field with both great potential and plenty of room for experimentation and creative ideas. That’s why KappAhl set up the KappAhl Sustainable Design Contest, for design students in fashion and textiles with a connection to Sweden, Finland, Norway and Poland who want to be involved in developing the sustainable design solutions of the future. 

The jury for the Sustainable Design Contest consisted of fashion journalist Emilia de Poret; Kate Goldsworthy, Senior Research Fellow at University of the Arts, London and part of Mistra Future Fashion; Maria Segergren, KappAhl’s Vice President Assortment and Design; Karin Verdoes, KappAhl’s designer; Lina Nyqvist, KappAhl’s sustainability manager for assortment; and Eva Kindgren de Boer, KappAhl’s sustainability manager for production.

Last year’s winner in store now

After last year’s competition, 2016 winner Lovisa Malmberg Gomis has designed two dresses with KappAhl’s design team on the theme of multi-functionality. The dresses are available in KappAhl’s stores at the moment, as part of this year’s Celebrate collection. Watch a film about the dresses here

Pennsylvania Small Business Wins SBA 2017 Exporter of the Year Award

Abram’s Bed LLC, doing business as The Safety Sleeper™, has been named Small Business Exporter of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Pittsburgh-based company will be officially recognized during National Small Business Week, an annual event honouring the accomplishments and contributions of the best small businesses in the nation.

The Safety Sleeper 1The adage “necessity is the mother of invention,” certainly holds true for mother of three Rose Morris – a patent-holder, inventor of The Safety Sleeper

The award will be presented by SBA Administrator Linda McMahon on May 1, during a luncheon held at the U.S. Institute of Peace, in Washington, D.C.  Rose Morris, Abram’s Bed LLC’s president and inventor of The Safety Sleeper™, will receive the award on behalf of her company.

A mother of three, Morris struggled with finding solutions to protect her middle son Abram, who is on theThe Safety Sleeper 2 autism spectrum, as he faced nights of fitful and erratic sleep. Her determination to help her then toddler-aged son lead a healthy life was the inspiration to invent The Safety Sleeper™, a lightweight tent-like structure that is placed on top of the bed, and includes padding and an air mattress.

Morris established Abram’s Bed LLC in 2009.  The business grew, thanks to counselling from the local SCORE and the Small Business Development Center at Duquesne University. The Safety Sleeper™ underwent design modifications done by engineering students at the University of Pittsburgh, and now offers additional features such as an extra safety zipper system, an enclosed mattress to protect against entrapment, fire retardant material, stabilizing straps to prevent tipping, and frame pads. 

By 2016, the company had reached the USD 1 million sales mark.  The Safety Sleeper™ is now exported to 12 countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

U.S. exports are important to the nation’s economy, and 98 % of all exporters are small businesses. The SBA’s export loan programs help American small businesses reach customers in the global market and compete on an equal footing in countries around the world. During fiscal year 2016, the SBA had another record year guaranteeing more than 1800 loans to small business exporters, resulting in more than USD 1.5 billion in financing and over USD 3 billion in U.S. exports.

Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week.  This year National Small Business Week will be recognized April 30 – May 6, with events planned in Washington, D.C., New York City, Indianapolis, Dallas and Fresno, California.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 and since January 13, 2012, has served as a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.  The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses.  Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.

H&M Canada is recognized as a Great Place to Work and top fashion employer

H&M is recognized as one of this year’s Best Workplaces in Canada. This is the third consecutive year that H&M Canada has been presented this prestigious award.  New for H&M this year was also making the list of top employers in the country for part-time staff. H&M is also proud to have been named a top global fashion employer by the Business of Fashion’s first ever annual report on The Best Companies to work for in Fashion in 2017

H&M Canada’s commitment to being a great employer is made possible by listening to our employee’s feedback to make positive impacts to our organization. H&M’s values come together to form a workplace where everyone can work together at a fast pace and rely on each other’s unique knowledge and capabilities. H&M believes in early responsibility and from day one fosters an environment where it is possible to grow internally in a career in fashion retail based on each employee’s individual strengths.Canada Logo

“The success of H&M is due to our tremendously talented people that inspire each other to make our workplace. At H&M we love our employees, they are big fans of our brand but we are their biggest fans!” says Toni Galli, Country Manager H&M Canada. “We are honoured to once again be recognized as part of this prestigious list” she adds.

About the Great Place to Work Institute: GPTW is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services, and certification programs, GPTW recognizes the world’s Best Workplaces in a series of national lists including those published by Fortune magazine (USA) and The Globe & Mail (Canada). Great Place to Work® provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures.

Business of Fashion’s first annual survey: The Business of Fashion surveyed over 2,600 industry professionals, representing more than 190 leading fashion companies from around the world, for their first annual report on The Best Companies To Work For In Fashion. The report provides an objective assessment of the top global fashion employers based on 29 different data points and detailed qualitative feedback gathered. Employee sentiments were measured across three main indices: rewards and benefits; leadership and development; and working culture and environment. Based on overall performance, 16 companies were identified as the top performers and champions in one or more of these key areas.

For the full list of The Best Companies to Work for in Fashion 2017 please click here

Ahlstrom-Munksjö awarded with EcoVadis Gold rating for its CSR engagement

Ahlstrom-Munksjö, a global leader in fibre-based materials, has been awarded with a Gold rating by EcoVadis, following to the assessment of the group’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) engagementNew Logo Ahlstrom Munksjö

The Gold rating is a result of performance improvements in all four CSR dimensions assessed by EcoVadis; environment, labour practices, fair business practices, and sustainable procurement. It places the company among the top 1 % of all suppliers evaluated by the platform, regardless of their industry.

“In the last few years we have worked hard to continuously improve performance and consistency in the area of sustainability and responsibility. I am very pleased by the recognition from EcoVadis and I’d like to thank all internal and external stakeholders who have contributed to the achievement,” says Anders Hildeman, Vice President Sustainability.

EcoVadis is the first collaborative platform providing sustainability ratings and performance improvement tools for global supply chains. EcoVadis’ CSR scorecards help procurement teams to monitor supplier environmental, social and ethical practices across 150 purchasing categories and 110 countries.

Ahlstrom-Munksjö is a global leader in fibre-based materials, supplying innovative and sustainable solutions to customers worldwide. Our offerings include decor paper, filter media, release liners, abrasive backings, nonwovens, electrotechnical paper, glass fibre materials, food packaging and labeling, tape, medical fiber materials and solutions for diagnostics. Combined annual net sales are about EUR 2.15 billion and we employ 6,200 people. The Ahlstrom-Munksjö share is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki and Stockholm. The company was formed on April 1, 2017 through the merger of Ahlstrom Corporation and Munksjö Oyj.

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