American Image Awards Honorees Announced by American Apparel & Footwear Association

November 27, 2018 | WASHINGTON, D.C.

Today, the American Apparel & Footwear Association announced its 2019 AAFA American Image Awards honorees. 

Celebrating fashion’s future, the honorees include: Person of the Year – Isaac Ash, CEO of United Legwear & Apparel Co.; Retailer of the Year – American Eagle Outfitters; Company of the Year – Birkenstock; Designer of the Year – Eileen Fisher; Media Brand of the Year – WWD; and Fashion Collaboration of the Year – Disney Princess X Ruthie Davis

Hosted by AAFA, acclaimed model and actress Brooke Shields will emcee the evening, taking place April 15 at the famed Plaza Hotel in New York City. AAFA is proud to partner with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Foundation as the gala’s beneficiary.

“For more than four decades, AAFA has brought together the industry’s best to celebrate incredible honorees, in a setting that is fitting of their influence,” said Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. “There is no other event like this, that showcases designers, brands, manufacturers, business leaders, and media personalities to celebrate fashion’s future and throw a spotlight on those who are revolutionizing the world’s most influential business.”

Person of the Year – Isaac E. Ash, CEO of United Legwear & Apparel Co.
Isaac founded United Legwear & Apparel Co. (ULAC) in 1998 and under his leadership, the company has grown into a major global designer, manufacturer, and distributor of legwear, bodywear, apparel, bags, and accessories. A joint venture partner of Puma, licensee of Skechers, Champion, Fortnite, Starter, Weatherproof, and Pro Player, and owner of the lifestyle brand Fun Socks, ULAC works with the world’s best-known retailers and is renowned for high-quality products with great value. ULAC is also known as a company with compassion and a commitment to giving back.

Retailer of the Year – American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.
AEO Inc. is a leading global specialty retailer that has provided high-quality, on trend clothing, accessories and personal care products for more than 40 years. Under its American Eagle and Aerie brands, the company operates more than 1,000 stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China and Hong Kong, and ships to 81 countries worldwide. By focusing on its customers’ individual styles, sourcing innovative fabrics and offering fits for all sizes, AEO Inc. remains at the forefront of retail and the American Eagle and Aerie brands have positioned themselves as market leaders. The award will be accepted by Jay Schottenstein, Executive Chairman of the Board and CEO of AEO Inc. 

Company of the Year – Birkenstock
Birkenstock footwear is sold in more than 100 countries worldwide. The German brand has a shoemaking heritage dating back over 240 years and invented the contoured footbed.  Birkenstock has been available in the U.S. for more than 50 years and opened its first U.S.-based store in SoHo in 2018. Several high-profile fashion collaborations and a tightly managed retail distribution strategy have been a part of the company’s exponential growth over the past five years. The award will be accepted by David Kahan, CEO of Birkenstock Americas.

Designer of the Year – Eileen Fisher
Eileen Fisher has worked tirelessly to build consciousness and awareness in the apparel industry on issues of social responsibility, sustainability, and human rights. The brand leads its sector as an agent of change, and has become a movement. Company Founder and Chairwoman Eileen Fisher will accept the award.

Media Brand of the Year – WWD
WWD has delivered information and intelligence on changing trends and breaking news in the men’s and women's fashion, beauty, and retail industries for over 100 years. Their expansion into the digital realm has positioned WWD as a global resource for the industry. The award will be accepted by Editorial Director, James Fallon.

Fashion Collaboration of the Year – Disney Princess X Ruthie Davis
Blending the iconic legacy of Disney with the creative force of Ruthie Davis embodies the imagination and reinvention on which the fashion industry thrives. The collaboration is an example of fashion and entertainment coming together to have a profound new cultural impact.  The award will be accepted by Ruthie Davis and Disney.

"We are honored to once again be the beneficiary of the American Image Awards," said Steven Kolb, President and CEO of the CFDA. "The money raised will help fund our business development and philanthropic programs. We are grateful to AAFA’s Board of Directors, Rick Helfenbein, and the entire team at AAFA for their continued support."

More information on the AAFA American Image Awards is available at

Supporters can join the conversation on Instagram and Twitter using #AmericanImageAwards.

CFDA Foundation
The CFDA Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, which was created to raise funds for charity and industry activities. Through innovative partnerships with brands, retailers, and CFDA designers, the Foundation is able to leverage fashion and effectively generate awareness and funds for these charitable causes.