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AAFA selects five leaders for American Image Awards

Dec '19
Kenneth Cole. Pic: American Image Awards
Kenneth Cole. Pic: American Image Awards
The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) has selected five leaders for the American Image Awards. The awards are given for leadership, excellence, and outstanding achievement in the fashion industry. The awards will be delivered on April 21, 2020 in New York City. The gala benefits the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Foundation.

The honourees are Kenneth Cole – Person of the Year; Ralph Lauren Corporation – Company of the Year; Brandon Maxwell – Designer of the Year; Alibaba Group – Retail Innovator of the Year; Bravo/Project Runway – Fashion Maverick.

“The American Image Awards is about celebrating fashion’s future. This year’s honourees exemplify this ideology,” said Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of AAFA. “Not only are these individuals and companies successfully delivering quality and innovative products, but they are also leading our industry across key global performance issues including environmental stewardship and social responsibility.”

Person of the Year Kenneth Cole is an American designer, social activist, and visionary. His global company, Kenneth Cole Productions, creates modern, versatile, and timeless clothing, shoes, and accessories. Cole is renowned for his work promoting AIDS awareness and research, including 14 years as chairman of the Board for The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). In 2016, Cole was appointed a UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. In 2019, Cole launched The Mental Health Coalition, a group of nonprofits, businesses, brands, and celebrities focused on ending the stigma against mental illness.

Ralph Lauren Corporation, which gets the Company of the Year award, is a leader in design, marketing, and distribution of premium lifestyle products for more than 50 years, Ralph Lauren is the quintessential lifestyle brand. Throughout its history, the company has been at the forefront of the fashion industry and most recently has augmented that position with its five-year Next Great Chapter strategy.

Brandon Maxwell who is the Designer of the Year, is one of the world’s leading fashion designers. Playing a pivotal role in defining today’s modern, empowered woman, Maxwell’s work embodies a celebration of individuality that is leading change throughout the industry. Maxwell’s eponymous brand has been worn by many of the world’s most influential women, including Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda, Reese Witherspoon, Duchess Meghan Markle, and Lady Gaga. In addition to his role as creative director of his brand, Maxwell is also a judge on Bravo’s Project Runway.

Retail Innovator of the Year, Alibaba Group, was founded in 1999 by Jack Ma. Alibaba originally was designed as a website to help small Chinese exporters, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs sell globally. Twenty years later, Alibaba has grown into the world’s leading online and mobile commerce company, connecting nearly 700 million consumers with more than 190,000 brands and more than 10 million small businesses. Providing businesses with technology infrastructure, marketing tools, consumer insights, payments, and cloud computing, the company is building the future of commerce.

Fashion Maverick – Bravo/Project Runway, has showcased the untethered imagination and reinvention that is the essence of the fashion industry. Having just launched its 18th season on Bravo, Project Runway both celebrates the industry and provides viewers with an inside look at upcoming designers and the profound, cultural impact of fashion. Throughout its history, many former contestants have received the American Image Award honour having risen to fame on the programme, including current judges Christian Siriano and Brandon Maxwell.

“We are appreciative of the support the AAFA has given to the CFDA over the past four years,” said Steven Kolb, president and CEO of the CFDA. “Our efforts to develop and operate impactful programming are directly strengthened through our relationship with the AAFA.”

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (SV)

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