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The annual Femmy Awards pulled in 550 guests and also pulled no punches by serving up Carson Kressley as host of the Tuesday evening bash at Cipriani 42nd Street in Manhattan.
Kressley — who gained fame as a star of the Emmy Award-winning TV series “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and host of the “Carson Nation” makeover series on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network — entertained industry executives with a litany of lively comments about lingerie.
“I’m more femmy than the Femmy [award statuette], because I’m wearing a lace bra, undies and my Spanx,” said Kressley, pointing out that the Venus de Milo-inspired statuette was braless.
The Femmys, which have been staged since the late Fifties, are bestowed upon innerwear executives, companies and retailers that have shown creativity and innovation in a highly competitive field.
This year’s roster was no exception.
Rick Medlin, president and chief executive officer of Fruit of the Loom, accepted an award for the 160-year-old brand that has become a household name. The specialist of underwear, daywear, T-shirts and casualwear generates estimated annual wholesale sales in excess of $1.9 billion. Owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc., FTL is known for its fruit logo and “fruit guys” that have a cult following.
Kenneth Wong, director of Top Form Brassiere Mfg. Co. Ltd. in Hong Kong accepted an award for the family-owned firm which produces over 40 million bras a year.
Victor H. Vega, vice president of inventory production and sales management at Wacoal America Inc., was bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award. Vega started out as a warehouse employee and worked his way up through the Wacoal ranks, where he is celebrating his 40th year.
Penn Asia Co. Ltd. received the Innovation Award for development of a proprietary waterless dye process. Jimmy Yeh, group managing director of the Thailand-based Yeh Group unit of Penn Asia, accepted an award for the family-owned company.
Century 21 Department Stores was selected Retailer of the Year. Isaac Gindi, executive vice president, and Lisa Aquilino, divisional merchandise manager of intimates, sleepwear, legwear and women’s accessories, represented the off-price designer chain.
Meanwhile, three design students from the Fashion Institute of Technology won the Femmy Design Contest: Nina Trimble took home a $4,000 first-place cash award; Yecca Zeng came in second with $3,000, and Lauren Haron received $2,100 for third place.
The overall theme of the student designs centered on sultry ultrafeminine looks in a variety of laces and satin.