The American Apparel & Footwear Association has named its honorees for the 2022 American Image Awards, which will be held April 26 at The Plaza Hotel in New York.
Chip Bergh, president and chief executive officer of Levi Strauss & Co., will receive the Person of the Year award. Bergh has led the company to continued global expansion and through a dramatic turnaround. He has been widely recognized for his position on values-driven leadership, including his statements and actions on issues like gun-violence prevention, climate change and social and racial justice.
Gap Inc. will be awarded Company of the Year, and the honor will be accepted by Sonia Syngal, CEO. Under the Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta brands, the company has used omnichannel capabilities to bridge the digital world and physical stores to enhance its shopping experience, drumming up fiscal year 2020 net sales of $13.8 billion.
Designer of the Year award will go to Prabal Gurung, who launched his eponymous collection in February 2009 with a philosophy that blends modern luxury, style and glamour. Gurung does his manufacturing in New York City, and his designs have been worn by former First Lady Michelle Obama and the Duchess of Cambridge. He has also collaborated with Target, MAC Cosmetics, Toms and Lane Bryant, and was named global creative director of Tasaki, a jewelry brand, in 2017.
The Fashion Maverick Award will be awarded to ThirdLove, a women’s lifestyle brand focused on elevated essentials across bras, underwear, and loungewear. The award will be accepted by Heidi Zak, cofounder and CEO. ThirdLove supports the broader community through its TL Effect program, created to encourage and support early-stage companies run by female entrepreneurs of color and through the donation of more than $50 million worth of products to women in need.
The Eco Steward of the Year award will be given to The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Fashion Initiative. Its “Make Fashion Circular” program was launched at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2017 and brings together leaders from across the fashion industry to work with cities, philanthropists, NGOs and innovators. The Foundation’s Fashion Initiative is leading international efforts to stop waste and pollution by creating a circular economy for the industry, where products are used more and are made to be produced again from safe, recycled or renewal inputs.
According to Steve Lamar, president and CEO of the AAFA, “The American Image Awards has always been about excellence and achievement. In a new climate — both the realities of a global pandemic and the increasingly, challenging business and environmental realities — innovation and stewardship continue to remain paramount.
“The 2022 honorees are truly trailblazers who galvanize their employees and their peers across this industry’s far-reaching supply chains to ensure impactful contributions to the American and global economies, to our stakeholder community, and the future of fashion,” Lamar added.
The event will be emceed by Segun Oduolowu of People TV and will benefit the Council of Fashion Designers of America Foundation for the sixth year.
“Through the American Image Awards, the AAFA brings awareness to important issues facing our industry while celebrating its leaders who spearhead progress and change,” said Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA. “We are thankful for AAFA’s continued support, and look forward to our continued collaboration for years to come.”
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