NEW YORK — For a fashion party, Monday night's American Image Awards sounded an awful lot like a political gala.
The American Apparel & Footwear Association's 29th annual event, held at the Grand Hyatt hotel here, raised $930,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the favored charity of Anna Kournikova, who won the Spirit of Woman Award. Kournikova accepted her award with four girls from the New York chapter, who wore dresses they had designed themselves. Then the message portion of the evening began.
Fellow honoree Patricia Field stormed the stage — the first of several such appearances — to call attention to the girls. "These beautiful young women made these beautiful outfits," Field said. "Can we just take 30 seconds for them to walk across the stage to see what they made out of their hearts?" The answer, apparently, was no.
Field, who was presented with the Fashion Maverick award by "Sex and the City" star Willie Garson, took her acceptance speech in a political direction. "It grieves me as an American citizen that the entire shoe production industry is in China," she said. Field returned to the stage a third time after George Feldenkreis' acceptance speech for Man of the Year, adding, "We need to put our power in our hemisphere."
After being introduced by Sue Kronick, vice chairman of Federated Department Stores Inc., Feldenkreis made his own call to action. "We are not investing enough in the talent of the industry," said the chairman and chief executive officer of Perry Ellis International. "We need to improve the quality of our merchants."
Matthew Rubel, president and ceo of Payless Shoe Source, told a poignant story of a single mother and two daughters who had been able to "be like everyone else" thanks to three pairs of shoes bought for $42 from the moderate-price shoe chain. "Payless touches America in a way no one else can understand," Rubel said. "Our mission is to make sure we democratize fashion and style."
Tommy Hilfiger and Joel Horowitz introduced Rubel, whom they made president of Tommy Hilfiger when he was a 25-year-old "whiz kid."In lighter fare, Daily Candy founder Dany Levy won the Golden Pen. "I'm going to keep this speech short and sweet in the spirit of what Daily Candy is," said Levy. André Leon Talley introduced Kimora Lee Simmons, president and creative director of Baby Phat, as Designer of the Year. "She knows how to make glamour into power," the Vogue editor at large said.
Others in attendance included event emcee Jay Manuel, Lela Rose, Patrick McDonald and Heatherette's Richie Rich.
To accept New Balance's Innovation in Performance award, president emeritus John Larsen wore sneakers with his tux. "Inside the company, the word 'fashion' is referred to as the 'F word,'" Larsen joked.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty