Licensing International, the leading trade association for the brand licensing industry, has named longtime licensing powerhouse Martha Stewart as the 2020 inductee to the Licensing International Hall of Fame. Stewart will be honored at the Licensing International Excellence Awards, taking place May 19, 2020 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, NV in conjunction with Licensing Expo.
Stewart was one of the pioneers of the modern licensing model, beginning with her trailblazing direct-to-retail deal with Kmart in the late ’90s. Stewart founded the diversified media and merchandising company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, which is owned by brand management firm, Marquee Brands. Over the last two decades her branded products have graced the shelves of top-name retailers such as Macy’s, Staples, Michaels, TJX Companies and QVC. The business has also expanded to include major e-commerce retailers, Amazon and Wayfair. With a product line that has touched almost every category from fashion to food, paint to pet products, and a wide variety of home goods, Stewart continues to launch innovative, lifestyle-based brand extensions. Most recently the brand announced plans to develop branded real estate communities in markets around the globe, among many other projects in the housewares, food and beverage, pets, crafts, fashion, garden and travel markets.
“I am very honored to be inducted into the Licensing International Hall of Fame. I have spent my life’s work creating high-quality, practical, functional, and innovative products at an affordable price to enhance one’s lifestyle and home,” says Martha Stewart. “I look forward to sharing more of the expertise we have developed over the years and to expanding our product categories and distribution worldwide.”
The Licensing International Hall of Fame is home to the most esteemed global brand licensing executives of the last three decades, individuals like Stewart who have helped to shape this $280.3 billion* industry. Inductees are chosen through a rigorous nomination and review process, with the final selection being made by a vote of the Licensing International Board of Directors, which is comprised of global executives representing all aspects of the brand licensing industry. Past inductees include Sanrio founder Shintaro Tsuji; Star Wars creator George Lucas; sports business pioneer Mark McCormack; Chairman and CEO of Hasbro Brian Goldner; Walt Disney; Peanuts creator Charles Schulz; and many others.
“Choosing one individual to recognize from the vast pool of talented, dedicated professionals in this industry is never easy. Martha epitomizes everything this honor represents – her legacy of innovation and constant evolution, which continues to this day, showcases brand building at its best,” said Licensing International President, Maura Regan. “I look forward to celebrating Martha’s achievements alongside other pioneering work from leaders across our industry at the Licensing Excellence Awards in May.”
“We are beyond proud of Martha for receiving this honor from Licensing International,” says Carolyn D’Angelo, President of the Home Division at Marquee Brands. “She founded an incredible company that has since become a renowned and widely distributed brand, transcending across various media channels, product categories and industries. We are excited to continue growing the brand and bringing Martha’s expertise into more homes around the world.”
* Source: Licensing International 2019 Global Licensing Survey