GRAND RAPIDS, MI — For the second year in a row, Wolverine Worldwide is opening up its annual fashion show extravaganza to the public.
But this year, the Rockford footwear giant is taking the event up a notch with “Fashion Rock Out” in downtown Grand Rapids. The company has rented out the newly opened 20 Monroe Live, with room for 17,000, for the free event.
The fashion show, concert and charity event at 7:30 p.m. on May 18 will kick off Wolverine’s Spring/Summer 2018 Global Brand Conference that will draw thousands of international distributors from 200 countries and territories.
The event is free to the public with a cash or food donation to the Kids’ Food Basket.
Last year, the Cat Footwear fashion show in Calder Plaza featured a DJ and experimental pop artist. This year, Wolverine brand is bringing in the hip-hop double-dutch jump rope crew, JumpLA, and three Michigan-based music acts: DJ Adrian Butler, Jesse Ray and the Carolina Catfish, and Flint Eastwood.
“Fashion Rock Out” is part of Cat Footwear’s new brand campaign “Bolder Together” that is about bringing together the best in art, music and fashion, and working together as a community towards bold causes.
The rugged casual footwear brand is a global licensee of the century-old Caterpillar Inc., the maker of large construction machinery known as Earthmovers. Cat Footwear has dubbed its consumers Earthmovers as well.
Both are about a creative, innovative and pioneering spirit that can catapult change, says Dani Zizak, Cat Footwear’s chief marketing officer.
“This event celebrates our Earthmovers: The people out there who roll up their sleeves, get things done and make change happen,” Zizak said.
The new campaign “Bolder Together” builds on the brand’s Winter 2017 collection “Go Boldly.”
“It capitalizes on the spirit of Earthmovers, people are strong and powerful as individuals but when they come together, they are even bolder together. That’s our new campaign,” Zizak said.
Months in preparation, the evening is intended to show distributors how to activate the Cat Footwear brand in their markets to connect with consumers and the general public.
The week-long conference for Wolverine’s dozen brands from Merrell to Hush Puppies gives the distributors a chance to see the latest designs and learn the newest marketing strategies.
These days, footwear brands like Cat Footwear need to step out of the pages of fashion magazines to connect with its consumers where they are passionate.
“What we are trying to create is that relationship where (our consumers) exist, not stepping back and saying hey, ‘buy our brand because it is cool.’ We want to engage with them,” Zizak said.
The event is free for people with a cash or food donation to the Kids’ Food Basket, a Grand Rapids-non-profit that provides healthy, nutritious foods to low-income children. Suggested food donations are pretzels and cheese crackers.
Attendees must be at least 18 years old. Full event details here: bit.ly/fashionrocksout