AAFA Celebrates Apparel and Footwear Industry at its 40th American Image Awards

April 17, 2018 | NEW YORK

The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) hosted its 40th AAFA American Image Awards last night with a sold-out event celebrating the accomplishments of the fashion and retail industry. Hosted by award-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author Katie Couric, the gala honored leaders, influencers, and innovators in the apparel and footwear industries and benefitted the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Foundation.

The AAFA American Image Awards honorees included Person of the Year, Emanuel (Manny) Chirico, Chairman and CEO of PVH Corp.; Company of the Year, Camuto Group; Designer of the Year, Joseph Altuzarra; Retailer of the Year, Fred Segal; and Fashion Maverick, Mansur Gavriel.

“The apparel and footwear industry includes some of the most creative minds in the business community, and it is a great privilege to bring everyone together for a night to celebrate our remarkable achievements,” said Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. “Last night was one of a kind. We were thrilled to honor such stand-out visionaries and leaders, and to partner for a second year with the CFDA Foundation to support its great work investing in the future of the fashion industry.”

“Through the CFDA Foundation, we are able to devote funds towards important causes and initiatives, such as HIV/AIDS, Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, disaster relief, domestic manufacturing, and education and professional development,” said Steven Kolb, President and CEO of the CFDA. “We thank the AAFA and all those who attended the American Image Awards for the support to the CFDA Foundation, which will help continue in our important efforts.”

Emanuel (Manny) Chirico received an enthusiastic standing ovation upon accepting his award. After an electrifying introduction by Macy’s CEO, Jeff Gennette, Chirico gave a moving speech about his humble beginnings, and paid homage to his parents, family, and co-workers who he credits helping PVH achieve success. Guests were treated to an entertaining video from Fred Segal featuring movie highlights from “Clueless” and “Legally Blonde” and quotes from celebrities including Lenny Kravitz. Guests listened attentively as honorees Allison Samek and John Frierson spoke about the company as a pioneer in experiential retailing. Joseph Altuzarra, known for his intricately detailed designs for women on and off the runway, engaged audiences with his inspiring journey through the fashion industry. Altuzarra designed the dress worn by Couric for the gala. Alex Del Cielo, accepting on behalf of Camuto Group, gave an empowering speech about the company’s founding principles of integrity and teamwork.  Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel spoke about the impact of social media on their brand and their achievements.

The red carpet buzzed with stars, fashion executives, and designers in celebration of the night’s honorees. Designers and Creative Directors including Becca McCharen-Tran (Chromat), Rebecca Minkoff and Uri Minkoff, Emily Adams Bode (BODE), Cynthia Rowley, Whitney Pozgay (WHIT), Nicola Glass (Kate Spade), and Nick Graham graced the red carpet and were joined by Jim Moore, Creative Director at Large at GQ and other fashion industry notables. CEO of Tapestry, Victor Luis; Coach CEO, Josh Schulman; and President of Tapestry, Todd Kahn, made up the heavy-hitting business contingency.  Celebrity highlights included the stunning Cynthia Bailey, actor from “Real Housewives of Atlanta;” Brett Gray, actor from “On My Block;” and Paralympian Amy Purdy.

“The American Image Awards uniquely highlight the contributions of the entire industry,” said Tom Glaser chairman of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. “On behalf of the board of directors, congratulations to the honorees and thank you to everyone that joined us last evening for such a special event.”

Images from the AAFA American Image Awards are available here. 

Photo Caption: American Apparel & Footwear Association’s 40th Annual American Image Awards 2018

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