February 10, 2010

This year, Allen Edmonds’ all-star performer, the Park Avenue, celebrates its 30th Anniversary as The Great American Shoe for Business. Our company couldn’t be more proud. After 30 years in the marketplace, the Park Avenue still remains our #1 selling style. Thirty years at the top of any “bestseller” list is an incredible accomplishment. From coast-to-coast and in business centers around the world, men heading to board meetings, C-suites, corner offices, important client calls, closing courtroom arguments and the first day on the new job have been trusting the Park Avenue to help make the right impression.

Sometimes 1980 seems like just yesterday, at least until I realize what was going on in 1980. Jimmy Carter was finishing his last year in office, Americans were still held hostage in Iran, the U.S. boycotted the Moscow Summer Olympics, CNN went on the air to revolutionize television, Christopher Cross cleaned up at the Grammy Awards, Ordinary People won Best Picture, and Al Michaels asked and immediately answered that unforgettable question, “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” as a bunch of young bucks from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Massachusetts beat the great Soviet hockey juggernaut at Lake Placid.
I began my business career in 1980 and I can’t tell you how many pairs of Park Avenues I’ve seen on impressive leaders in all walks of life over the many years. Although we fell short in January 2009, Park Avenues had been on the feet of every President since Ronald Reagan when taking the Oath of Office. In my first few months on-the-job here at AE, other heads of state ordered up Made in USA Park Avenues before meeting their cohorts. The next time you see a photo of global leaders lined-up for a photo opp at a summit meeting, take a look at their shoes and notice the Park Avenues.
The Park Avenue has set the standard for long-lasting quality across the shoe industry. Many a man still has the first pair of Park Avenues he ever owned and they’re still in good shape. They may have been recrafted a couple or even several times, but they’re as sturdy, comfortable, tasteful and impressive as ever.
In celebration of 30 great years and to help the next generation of Park Avenues last well into the middle of the 21st Century, until March 12th 2010, we’re offering a free pair of commemorative shoe trees to absorb harmful moisture and help the shoes hold their shape for many years to come. If you don’t have a pair of these shoes, they belong in your collection in black, burnished brown or maybe the very versatile walnut pebble grain appearing beneath jeans as often as blue suits these days. That’s the nature of classics — they speak to succeeding generations in both familiar and new ways.
Happy Birthday, P.A.!

Paul D. Grangaard
President & CEO
Allen Edmonds Shoe Corporation