Pentland Group chairman Stephen Rubin picked up the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Drapers Footwear Awards this week.
Former business partners and colleagues paid tribute to Rubin this week. Retail entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter, who dealt with Rubin when he owned the Sports Division and Olympus Sports chains in the mid 1990s, said: “Stephen is one of the true visionaries in our industry. Few come close to his talent and he truly deserved this accolade - there couldn’t be a better choice.”
Vittorio Radice, chief executive of Italian department store chain La Rinascente, who first met Rubin when Radice was made chief executive of Selfridges in 1996, added: “It is an incredible achievement to go from selling shoes in Liverpool to developing a good stable of brands and a vast international business. He has great unique vision, but also knows what to do with a brand when he acquires it.
“He has always been generous with his time and words and he is someone I look up to as an example of a great businessman.”
Other big winners on the night were Clarks, which picked up Multiple Footwear Retailer of the Year, and Donaghys of Banbridge in Northern Ireland, which scooped the overall Independent Footwear Retailer of the Year category.Converse was awarded Brand of the Year and Ugg was named Trendsetting Brand of the Year.