While the American Image Awards honored an impressive cross section of industry leaders, it’s most stirring moment came when 10 Special Olympians took the stage for “The Star Spangled Banner” and waved proudly back at the standing ovation.
Later, the Special Olympians mingled with the crowd of more than 450 as they passed out chocolate Olympic gold medals with red, white and blue ribbons. The event, held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan and sponsored by the American Apparel & Footwear Association, raised $750,000, with 40 percent of the net proceeds to benefit Special Olympics. Apropos to the evening’s message about supporting those who must overcome handicaps, Marlee Matlin, the only deaf performer to win an Academy Award, emceed the event.
The Man of the Year award went to William Sweedler of private equity firm Tengram Capital Partners, who recalled some of his father’s advice, which he didn’t take. “Whatever you do, don’t go into the apparel industry. Go to Wall Street,” Sweedler said, repeating his father’s words. “I went to the dark side — to private equity.”
Robert Graham chief executive officer Michael Buckley and cochairman and chief creative officer Robert Stock accepted the Men’s Wear Brand of the Year award, with Buckley crediting his partnership with Sweedler’s Tengram Capital, the brand’s owner, for transforming a dinner shirt company into a lifestyle brand that is now in the late-stages of a plan to offer a fragrance line.
DL1961’s creative director Sarah Ahmed and director Zahra Ahmed, who are sisters, accepted the Denim Brand of the Year award. “There’s an emotional connection with a pair of jeans,” said Sarah.
Supima Cotton president Jesse Curlee accepted the Premium Fiber Brand of the Year award, while Ruthie Davis accepted the Footwear Designer of the Year award. Humanitarian of the Year went to Barry Sternlicht, founder, chairman and ceo of investment firm Starwood Capital Group, who was unable to attend.
Guests in attendance included former NBA star and Olympic gold medalist Sam Perkins, and Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan, a Special Olympics board member, who introduced Janet Froetscher, ceo of Special Olympics. Froetscher congratulated the honorees, thanked the AAFA for supporting Special Olympics, and spoke of the value of athletics in elevating the quality of life for the intellectually or medically disabled.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)