Fashion designers, company heads and even a plastic doll were honored at this year’s American Image Awards gala on May 12, the annual event put on by the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA). Blake Krueger, CEO and president of Wolverine World Wide, was on hand to accept the award for Excellence in Lifestyle Branding and thanked all of the “brand fanatics” who support their global business. Women’s designer Norma Kamali received recognition as Designer of the Year, and Barbie—a fashion icon if there ever were one—was touted as a Fashion Maverick.
Designer Isaac Mizrahi donned pink Belgian loafers to present the Spirit of a Woman award to Lilly Pulitzer, and Matt Rubel, president and CEO of Collective Brands, noted the eye-catching footwear choice might inspire one of his company’s future collections. Rubel presented Lifetime Acheivement award to Gilbert Harrison, founder of Financo Inc., who stressed in his speech that nowadays, creativity and innovation in the fashion world must come faster than ever before.
Stacy London, host of TV’s “What Not to Wear,” hosted the evening, which benefited the education foundation of New York’s FIT. “We’re so proud each year to honor some of the industry’s best talent and true legends, and to share the evening with such a stellar audience of celebrities and top decision makers in retail and fashion,” AAFA president and CEO Kevin M. Burke said.