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Allen Edmonds/Caleres honored by the Accessories Council at Annual ACE Awards


Recognized for making masks for local Milwaukee hospitals, 

award presented to Allen Edmonds team by designer and collaborator Armando Cabral

NEW YORK (Nov. 2, 2021) – Allen Edmonds and Caleres were recognized with a Hero Award at the 25th annual Accessories Council Excellence (ACE) Awards for making more than 240,000 masks for Milwaukee area hospitals during the pandemic. This year’s honorees at the annual event all had excelled in the areas of Covid relief; sustainability; diversity, equity, and inclusion; or charitable work. Designer and Allen Edmonds collaborator Armando Cabral accepted the award at the gala on behalf of Allen Edmonds.

With production at its Port Washington, Wis. factory at a virtual halt in response to the worsening global pandemic, it didn’t take long for the Allen Edmonds team to realize while they couldn’t be making shoes, they could still make a difference. Almost overnight, the expert craftsmen and sewers went from sewing leather on soles to making medical-grade masks to help the frontline workers in Milwaukee area hospitals who were so desperate for PPE in the early weeks and months of the pandemic. 

Allen Edmonds has made shoes for presidents, dignitaries, and celebrities, but when the first mask was produced on March 25, 2020, it was one of the most important moments in the rich and storied history of the brand. Over the next 13 weeks, nearly 30 talented sewers produced more than 7,000 masks per day. What was a difficult time for Allen Edmonds turned into a remarkable opportunity to help others – a true testament to the kindness, dedication, and determination of the team. 

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