By  on May 14, 2007

NEW YORK — Accessories retailers, vendors and supporters came out in their black-tie best last week for the Fashion Accessories Benefit Ball here at Pier 60.

The event, founded and chaired by Reenie Brown, helped raise money for amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research and The Pancreatic Cancer Research Program at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.

"This is just a great event," said Abe Chehebar, chairman and chief executive officer of the Accessories Network Group and member of the FABB board. "In the accessories industry, there aren't too many events and this one is for a good cause."

The evening's honorees included Macy's East, recipient of the Fame Award for fashion accessories merchandising, and Kenneth Cole, who was awarded the Fashion/Compassion Award for his humanitarian work with AIDS research.

"To get an award among my peers is as meaningful and as significant as any, more so," said Cole. "Especially for my social efforts, it's the ultimate tribute. It carries as much weight as anything and I'm just so flattered."

Women's wear and accessories designer Betsey Johnson received the Designer of the Year award. To thank her licensees who have helped create her "World of Betsey," Johnson opened up the pink coat she wore to the event to show off a stapled piece of each licensed category in her brand with the appropriate licensee labeled next to it.

"The licensing world makes me the happiest," said Johnson. "These are my people and it's a celebration of collaboration. So I guess I'm doing good."

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