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NEW YORK — “Before tonight, I’d never even heard of the American Apparel and Footwear Association,” said actor David Hyde Pierce, who had Monday night off from his Tony-nominated Broadway musical, “Spamalot.”

Pierce appeared at the 27th Annual AAFA American Image Awards at the Grand Hyatt Hotel here to present the Spirit of a Woman award to Princess Yasmin Aga Khan. “I’m suddenly very self-conscious of what I’m wearing, which is, by the way, from the ‘Frasier’ wardrobe department,” he said, referring to his earlier gig.

The gala, hosted by Christie Brinkley, benefited the Alzheimer’s Association, an organization that Khan has dedicated her life to since her mother, Rita Hayworth, died of the disease in 1987. Khan’s foundation, The Rita Hayworth Fund, has raised more than $40 million for the cause. Besides Khan, other award winners included Rocawear Inc. chief executive officer Damon Dash, decked out in a suit from his newly launched Damon Dash Collection, who gave much of the credit to his wife, Rachel Roy, in his acceptance speech.

“She gave me the courage to start Rocawear to begin with. Her enthusiasm gave me the strength from the start,” he said, accepting his Fashion Maverick Award from presenter Kevin Bacon, who called Dash “the hardest-working friend I have.”

Target designer Mossimo Giannulli (who’s also chairman and ceo of Mossimo Inc.) presented Target Corp. with the Retailer of the Year Award, and Isaac Mizrahi won Designer of the Year for his work at Target and his higher-end collection. But there was no competition among the two Target designers. “I’m sure his is better,” Giannulli said of Mizrahi’s collection for Target.

The final award of the night went to Paul Charron, chairman and ceo of Liz Claiborne Inc., who received the Man of the Year Award. It was presented to him by Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Taylor, co-presidents of Juicy Couture, who referred to Charron as their “sugar daddy,” and Gene Montesano and Barry Perlman, chairman and president, respectively, of Lucky Brand jeans. Both Juicy Couture and Lucky Brand are Claiborne divisions.

This story first appeared in the May 25, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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