AAFA Announces New Global Vanguard Award For 2023 American Image Awards 

February 22, 2023 | WASHINGTON, D.C.
The American Apparel & Footwear Association announces a new Global Vanguard award and inaugural recipient, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). 

A global finance expert, accomplished economist, international development professional, and civil servant, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the first woman and first African to serve as the Director-General of the WTO. With over 30 years of experiencing spanning Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and North America, she is regarded as an effective consensus builder and an honest broker enjoying the trust and confidence of governments and other stakeholders.  

“The power of the U.S. fashion industry is anchored in its global value chains and the billions of people around the world they employ and serve. These value chains depend upon the global trade partnerships that are made possible through the World Trade Organization (WTO). Through her voice and actions, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is leading this consequential body during a time of great uncertainty and disruption, ensuring these partnerships have a safe, responsible, and predictable way in which to operate," said AAFA President and CEO Steve Lamar. Steve Lamar is also Chair of the Washington International Trade Association.

“Convening governments and business through programs and policies that are equitable, transparent, and free-flowing while at the same time raising the standard of living, creating jobs and improving people’s lives across the global landscape is our ultimate goal. I am humbled to be recognized by AAFA and its American Image Awards as its Global Vanguard recipient," said Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

This week's announcement completes an impressive slate of honorees for the 2023 American Image Awards Gala which will be held on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. Fellow 2023 honorees include: New Balance Athletics Inc. as Company of the Year; Willy Chavarria for Designer of the Year; Harlem’s Fashion Row for Fashion Maverick; and William McDonough for Eco-Steward of the Year.

This annual event celebrates outstanding individuals and companies for their leadership, excellence, and noteworthy achievements in all sectors of the apparel and footwear industry, bringing together the areas of design, manufacturing, retail, and social impact as one. The 2023 gala will be emceed by Segun Oduolowu and benefits the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Foundation. 

Additional information on the American Image Awards, including table purchases, can be found at americanimageawards.org.

Supporters are encouraged to join the conversation using #AmericanImageAwards.