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.
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)