Arts & Entertainment, Manufacturing, and Retail

Footwear brand produces downtown fashion show

May 18, 2016
| By Pat Evans |
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Wolverine Worldwide Cat Footwear fashion show
A model takes center stage at a fashion show by the Cat Footwear brand of Rockford-based Wolverine Worldwide. Courtesy Cat Footwear

Four years ago, Wolverine Worldwide’s global brand conference grew too large for its Rockford corporate campus and made its way downtown to DeVos Place.

While the conference is open only to Wolverine’s global clients, one of the company’s brands plans to bring a fashion show and party to the public on Friday at Calder Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids.

Cat Footwear will display its spring and summer 2017 lines of shoes and clothing during the fashion show it hosts every year during the conference, opening it up to the public free of charge for the first time. Cat’s fashion show also acts as a kickoff party for the conference that runs from Thursday to May 26.

Each year, Cat Footwear puts on a professional fashion show with professional models and makeup talent from the coasts and throws an evening party for the roughly 350 attendees, including clients in Grand Rapids and from across the globe, to showcase its upcoming products.

“We traditionally have a very vibrant go-to-market event and host an amazing, high-quality produced fashion show,” said Dani Zizak, chief marketing officer, Wolverine Worldwide. “If you’ve never had the opportunity to attend a high-end fashion show, it’s something to see — outrageous and exciting.”

The runway show at Calder Plaza will offer a sneak peak of the spring and summer lineup from Cat Footwear, and the party will include a performance by Detroit experimental pop artist Tunde Olaniran. Grand Rapids DJ AB will offer music as well.

A 10-by-40-foot “paint by numbers” canvas designed by Kendall College alumna Annie Zimanski.  will be displayed, and guests are encouraged to fill in a section of the painting.

Perrin Brewing Co. will be pouring beers. Zizak said proceeds from the beers will benefit C.A. Frost Environmental Science Academy.

Zizak, who has been with Wolverine for 15 years, said she’s been amazed as she’s watched the company grow. She said Wolverine wants to give back in a very public way, even if just for an evening. The fashion show and after-party are simply to say thanks to the West Michigan community for being supportive throughout Wolverine’s corporate growth.

“We just have always said this is such a great party, but it’s limited to the 350 people who deal specifically with our brand,” Zizak said. “As part of our global brand campaign, 'Make a Scene,' what better way to bring that energy and open it up to the public of our hometown?”

The public fashion show and party run from 7:30-10 p.m.

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