By  on February 29, 2008

NEW YORK — The American Apparel & Footwear Association plans to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its American Image Awards on May 14.

The event, which will be held as a dinner at the Grand Hyatt hotel here at 6:30 p.m., will celebrate a Salute to Industry Icons.

This year's honorees include VF Corp., which will receive the Excellence in Lifestyle Branding award. The award will be accepted by the company's chairman, Mackey McDonald, who has been with the firm since 1983 and has led the charge for VF's conversion from a production-oriented manufacturer to a marketing-driven portfolio of powerhouse brands. The Retailer of the Year award will be presented to Belk Stores Inc. and will be accepted by the company's president and chief merchandising officer, McKay Belk, who is a third-generation member of the company's management team. His grandfather, William Henry Belk, founded the business in 1888 in Monroe, N.C.

Marvin Traub will be presented with the first Lifetime Achievement award. Traub, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Bloomingdale's, most recently partnered with Mortimer Singer and Aslaug Magnusdottir to create TSM Capital to invest in designer businesses. So far his firm has invested in young designer brands such as Matthew Williamson and Rachel Roy. TSM is also a part-owner in Ellen Tracy, which was purchased for $42.3 million from Liz Claiborne Inc. earlier this month. His award will be presented by Bloomingdale's chairman and ceo Michael Gould.

The Designer of the Year award will go to Mark Badgley and James Mischka, founders of Badgley Mischka. The brand, which has become popular with the Hollywood set, started with high-end eveningwear in 1988 and has since branched into several categories including bridal, accessories, sportswear and fragrance.

Over the past few years, the AAFA American Image Awards dinner has collectively raised close to $6 million, of which 40 percent of the net proceeds each year are donated to a choice charity partner. This year's event will benefit Kids In Distressed Situations Inc. and Fashion Delivers.

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