LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Image Apparel Institute (IAI) today announced the winners of the prestigious 2014 Image of the Year (IOY) Awards. The industry’s highest achievement, the award recognizes the most fashionable, forward thinking and innovative commercial apparel designs.
“From colors, logos and tailored fits, businesses are investing in image apparel programs that enhance their brand and the entire customer experience,” said Richard Lerman, President and CEO of the IAI. “In fact, a recent Harris Poll revealed that nearly 65 percent of U.S. adults said that seeing employees in image apparel programs has a positive impact on their perception of a company. This year’s winners are a dynamic group of companies that have created a competitive business edge by placing a strong focus on imagewear.”
The 13 winning programs were selected by an independent panel of judges representing a cross section of the fashion industry's most celebrated designers, journalists and fashion authorities. Winners will be honored during the joint North American Association of Uniform Manufacturers & Distributors (NAUMD)/IAI Annual Banquet and Awards Dinner in Las Vegas.
This year’s IOY winners by category include:
Hotels – Single Unit: St. Regis NYC by Cintas®
St. Regis NYC asked Cintas to create a uniform with a distinguished look to complement the property’s rich heritage and the brand’s legacy. Most importantly, they wanted the uniform to be functional for employees. Cintas designed a truly luxurious uniform program that is both innovative and contemporary by combining different fabrics and textures. Inspired by the Russian military uniforms of the Tsar late XIX century period, Cintas used slimmer lines, experimental juxtapositions of various textures and a monochromatic colour palate with strong accents.
Hotels – Multi-Unit: Hyatt® Corporation by Cintas
Hyatt’s goal was to continue to have a unique uniform program with a branded label. Hyatt and Cintas brainstormed to invent the perfect collection of contemporary styling, modern minimalism and unique signature apparel. Cintas’ Design and Merchandising teams collaborated with AR•RED brand – a newly established contemporary division of Austin Reed London – to develop a new branded suiting collection.
Restaurants – Fine Food: Kelsey’s by Unisync Group
With approximately 300 locations across Canada, Kelsey's wanted to design a streamlined program for its neighborhood bar and grill that was energetic, sociable, preppy and a little bit sexy, while allowing the employees the versatility to visually express themselves and show off a bit of their personality. With scoop and V-necks and a variety of colors, the program is welcoming without being too sexy.
Restaurants – Quick Service (tie): Wendy’s® by Barco™ Uniforms
Barco collaborated with Wendy’s to create a uniform program that stands up to Wendy's promise, using the best ingredients. It includes high-performance fabrics, advanced technology for soil-release and moisture wicking mixed with styling that has a young, active attitude. The result is new look for Wendy’s that is fresh, hip and energetic, yet, functional, durable and comfortable.
Restaurants – Quick Service (tie): Carl’s Jr®/Hardees® by Aramark Uniform Group
Carl’s Jr and Hardees wanted to consolidate the separate company logos and build on the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. image. Aramark branded the uniform program with the Happy Star logo to tie the company and the marketing goals together, creating a stronger brand identity. The Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s Crew Program includes a red camp shirt and a retro-style bowling shirt with contrasting black accents. The program also includes two outerwear options. The FusionTec™ jacket features a bonded fleece liner, polyester outer layer and stripes across the shoulders and down the sleeves for a sporty style. The new Three-Season ProFit Jacket is wind and rain resistant with ripstop side panels and a fleece lining for protection, durability and comfort.
Transportation – People: Virgin America by Affinity Apparel
Affinity Apparel helped Virgin America celebrate their fifth anniversary of operations in style by launching an exciting new uniform program. In partnership with Banana Republic, Affinity collaborated throughout the design process. Core pieces for men include military-inspired short or long sleeve woven shirts paired with a classic pleated or a more modern fitting flat front pant. Ladies core items also include short or long sleeve woven shirts, featuring princess seams and a covered placket with custom red edge piping. The collection also features men’s and ladies’ leather jackets. Both styles consist of soft, lambskin leather with durable, polyester twill lining.
Cruise Lines: Holland America® by Cintas
This exclusive program is a voyage into fashion that transitions Holland America from classic elegance to a vanguard style for a new era. Every uniform is designed with an exclusive venue or area in mind. Form and function strike a balance which makes the garment an integral part of the interior, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the guest experience.
Healthcare: Banner Healthcare® by Superior Uniform Group®
Banner Health’s biggest goal was to keep all departments across its health system standardized for easy-to-recognize employees, while also creating a visual way to identify departmental employees. Banner Health dressed each department in a unique garment that coordinated with the entire uniform program to increase patient confidence and promote a unified image.
Gaming: SugarHouse Casino by Arrow Uniforms
SugarHouse Casino was looking for a program that kept in line with not only the heritage of the former refinery but also the trendy city feel of Philadelphia. The program incorporates its look and feel from the former sugar refinery that once was on the site location and includes casual untucked shirt hems with faux fold up cuffs on the sleeves. It also utilizes a logoed ribbon and signature (sugar like) brocade that is used widely within the casino.
Entertainment: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter by Universal Orlando
Uniforms were needed to immerse team members and guests alike in the environment for the Islands of Adventure. The uniform program needed to be the kinetic art within the esthetic art of the land, as well as true to the film, but also work in the Florida weather. For example, the bar proprietor at Hogshead Pub is dressed to service in his ethnic kilt and mock fur vest.
Retail Establishments: BP Oil by Affinity Apparel
BP Corporate wanted a uniform program to build brand recognition around BP and its new Driver Rewards customer loyalty program, portraying a consistent message across their thousands of site level locations. Affinity’s Product Development team designed a custom performance polo shirt offered in male and female styling, long and short sleeve options. Affinity also designed a Snap-on® promotional piece that can be added to any of BP’s existing custom name badges.
Retail Establishments/Non Food (tie): Chase® Bank by Lands’ End Business Outfitters
The Chase Apparel program with Lands’ End Business Outfitters provides uniforms to 58,000 participating employees in more than 5,600 retail branch locations nationally. All products offered in the Chase program were developed with “easy care” in mind. From the Washable Wool suiting separates to performance treatments including; anti-pilling on sweaters and no-iron on pinpoints/broadcloth dress shirts. The assortment color story is blue and black per Chase brand guidelines. The collection includes a wide variety of styles, fits and finishes as well as pops of color from the 100 percent Chase custom accessories selection including silk ties and scarves, cufflinks and tie bars.
Retail Establishments/Non Food (tie): Huntington Bank by TwinHill®
Huntington Bank wanted a uniform program that is fashionable and high quality for its approximately 6,000 employees at more than 600 banking offices located in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The uniform program by TwinHill extends the Huntington Bank brand, provides consistency and improves customer experience overall
Since 1978, the IOY Awards have honored the image apparel programs and the organizations, manufacturers and distributors that have created them. Winning this award shows that these organizations have mastered the concept of fashion and function using the best image and brand projection planning. Specifically designed to assist in identifying staff professionals, image apparel can also extend a company’s brand, increase safety, enhance interior décor and improve employee morale. Winners in each category represent image apparel programs with distinct purposes or functions within their industry.
For more information about Image Apparel Institute or the IOY Awards, please visit www.imageapparel.org or call (516) 393-5838.
About The Image Apparel Institute
The Image Apparel Institute (IAI) is the producer of the Image of the Year Awards Program, the IAI Summit and is responsible for the development of the Image Apparel Institute Education Tracks presented during the NAUMD Convention & Exposition. The group is also responsible for the Best Practices Webinars and publications focused on the needs and issues facing the Image Apparel Business community. Award recipients have been recognized in such notable outlets as the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC and numerous websites and media outlets.
The Image Apparel Institute works to protect the interests of its members through a series of advocacy, education, and public relations campaigns intended to arm them with the tools needed to retain and capture business in a global economy. The institute has authored a number of position papers and has an extensive library of information from which members can further their understanding of the image apparel marketplace. The Image Apparel Institute also conducts a series of professional development seminars, and in conjunction with the North American Association of Uniform Manufacturers & Distributors, hosts an annual convention and exhibition where attendees can source products, learn about the latest trends, and gain practical, image apparel, fabric, sourcing and marketing knowledge to better run their business.