ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Featuring a wide range of workplace apparel fashions that includes wizards and pilots, the Image Apparel Institute (IAI) today announced the winners of the prestigious 2015 Image of the Year (IOY) Awards. The industry’s highest achievement, the award recognizes outstanding design in image apparel and corporate uniforms.
“The IOY Awards celebrate the most fashionable and innovative commercial apparel designs in several key industries,” said Richard Lerman, President and CEO of the IAI. “The judges combed through hundreds of eye-catching designs to vote in this year’s winners. They include an exclusive set of companies who have invested in their company’s image in order to differentiate themselves from the competition.”
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.
“Apparel designs have a significant impact on how a customer views a business, and can make a substantial difference in customer retention, which is why so many companies are investing in programs that enhance their brand,” said Margaret Ramsdale, Chair of the IAI Committee. “The IOY awards recognize the businesses that have made employee appearance and guest satisfaction a priority to create a competitive edge in their markets.”
The 11 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 at the Renaissance Orlando at Sea World in Orlando, Fla.
This year’s IOY winners by category include:
Best of the Best Award & Entertainment Venue: Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ Diagon Alley™ by Universal Studios Orlando
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley received the Best of the Best Award for its uniform program by Universal Studios Orlando. This is the first year that the judges have selected a top award winner by tallying all of the votes.
Universal wanted wardrobe uniforms that were authentic and true to the Harry Potter movies while keeping team members comfortable in the Florida climate. Several patterns and fabric techniques were used to make more than 100 types and styles of authentic and comfortable uniforms. In some cases, garments were made lighter and less cumbersome by eliminating lining or adding venting. In other cases, removable liners or underlays were used for custom jackets, robes and vests.
Healthcare: Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (PPMH) by Affinity Apparel
PPMH wanted to develop a consistent, color-coordinated, professional career apparel program that provides employees multiple options they would be proud to wear and customers would easily recognize. The tailored collection incorporates professionalism with easy-to-care-for washable fabrication.
Gaming: Cromwell by Cintas®
Cintas designed a uniform program that employees could proudly wear outside of work. Cintas provided designs that complement the red/charcoal and black interiors of the casino and the signature Cromwell color of raspberry in the hotel. The fashion-forward and functional program features fitted blazers, shirts and vests that mirror current runway styles. The collection includes unique looks that complement each job function from hotel to casino to food and beverage.
Hotels – Multi-unit: DoubleTree by Hilton™ by Twin Hill® Corporate Apparel
Hilton and DoubleTree wanted to build a custom look that reflects the unique image of each individual property. The apparel is used across a multitude of different job functions, including front desk, housekeeping, valet, food and beverage and banquet. The collections combine luxury and performance to create designs that look and wear better than anything retail has to offer.
Hotels – Single Unit: Streamsong® Resort by Cintas
The Streamsong uniform program blends seamlessly with the other elements of the property: modern, simple, structural and natural color palettes. The collection features lightweight suiting with a bit of stretch, providing all the comfort and flexibility of a contemporary suiting. Cintas also utilized technologically enhanced fabrics for the food and beverage shirts, including moisture wicking and soil release.
Restaurants – Multiple Locations: The NYY Steak House by Red the Uniform Tailor
The NYY Steak House uniform program is a reflection of the branding of the NY Yankees baseball team. The custom restaurant uniform program includes hostess, servers, bartenders, busers, executive chefs and line cooks. All uniforms are gender specific with attention to subtle details, including stripe width and spacing for the shirting fabric and gender-specific logo sizes.
Restaurants – Single Location: U.S. Taco Co.® by HPI Direct
In order to reflect U.S. Taco Co.’s beachy-chic aesthetic, HPI implemented a comfortable, moisture-wicking, two-tone oxford pique polo with two button-through front pockets and cuffed sleeves with decorative button tabs. They also provided a soil-release, cotton/poly twill woven shirt with epaulets and roll sleeves that give it a contemporary, military-inspired style.
Retail Establishment: Verizon Wireless Retail by Lands’ End
Verizon wanted to create a consistent brand experience relevant to today with an employee apparel program that is approachable, comfortable and contemporary. The program uses a wide variety of active fabrics, both knit and woven, that are designed to deliver performance and comfort. Standard features built into the designs include moisture wicking, anti-microbial, stain release, anti-pill and snag as well as easy care features.
Service and Industry: Iron Mountain® by Aramark
Iron Mountain wanted a uniform program that promoted their brand while maintaining a consistent and professional appearance. It also needed to improve the safety characteristics of its uniform to make employees more visible, and ultimately safer as they work in high-traffic areas or automated environments. To keep employees warm and protected, the program includes a versatile System 365® Insulated Parka for the cold and waterproof/breathable rain gear for wet weather.
Transportation People: JetBlue Airways® by HPI Direct
JetBlue wanted to evolve and expand its already established sense of style, maintain a friendly but forward-thinking environment and give its employees a uniform that is functional and comfortable. Stretch was incorporated into the tailoring fabric, and poly matte jersey was used in the dress to give a more feminine fit and feel. The program also features breathable and moisture-wicking fabric for employee below-the-wing.
Transportation Product: Purolator by Unisync Group
The program consists of image apparel where comfort and durability are essential. The modern professional look was designed and manufactured for all seven divisions of the Purolator workforce, focusing on courier, air and freight transport and retail uniforms. The program includes customized male and female polos and pants, a bonded jacket with embossed logo, a 5-in-1 parka adaptable to all extremes of Canadian weather, and accessories, including a heritage toque with pom-pom.
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.