The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) Names Honorees for the 2017 American Image Awards

The American Apparel & Footwear Association today announced its 2017 American Image Awards honorees: Andrew Rosen, Founder and CEO of Theory (Person of the Year); Marc Fisher Footwear (Company of the Year); Stuart Vevers of Coach, Inc. (Designer of the Year); Nick Graham (Fashion Maverick); and Ed Nardoza (Lifetime Achievement Award). Owned and operated by the AAFA, the American Image Awards began in 1977 to honor those who have exemplified leadership, excellence, and outstanding achievement in all sectors of the apparel and footwear industry, including education, design, manufacturing, and retail. Award-winning stage and screen actor Alan Cumming will emcee the gala. Presented on April 24 in New York City, the American Image Awards will benefit the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative (FMI), part of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Foundation. This year’s ceremony will take place at the historic 583 Park Avenue venue in New York City.aafamemberlogotwocolor

Representing more than 1,000 world famous name brands, the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) is the trusted public policy and political voice of the apparel and footwear industry, its management and shareholders, its four million U.S. workers, and its contribution of $361 billion in annual U.S. retail sales. AAFA stands at the forefront as a leader of positive change for the apparel and footwear industry and delivers a unified voice on key legislative and regulatory issues. The organization enables a collaborative forum to promote best practices and innovation and its comprehensive work ensures the continued success and growth of the apparel and footwear industry, its suppliers, and its customers.

The Fashion Manufacturing Initiative (FMI) is a program of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and was created to nurture, elevate, and preserve garment production in New York City, ultimately connecting fashion designers to local manufacturing. The program includes: FMI Grant Fund offering matching grants to facilities committed to improving their services through innovation and technology; Apparel Skills Training Courses to generate a stronger workforce; a New York City Production Database on; and ongoing professional development sessions, industry events and collaborative partnerships.

As a leader in the fashion world, the American Image Awards honors our industry’s highest achievers. These are the mavericks, influencers, and rebels who continue to transform fashion and our business,” said Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. “We are thrilled to highlight the accomplishments of the 2017 honorees.”


The American Image Awards began in 1977 to honor those who have exemplified leadership, excellence, and outstanding achievement in all sectors of the apparel and footwear industry,

Person of the Year is awarded to Andrew Rosen. As Founder and CEO of Theory, Rosen has redefined contemporary fashion through his unique vision. With a commitment to young American talent, Rosen has cultivated, mentored, and invested in the next generation of designers and entreprenuers.

Company of the Year is awarded to Marc Fisher Footwear. Marc Fisher has set a new standard in design and innovation, cultivating an aesthetic that is accessible to a broad base of style-minded consumers for each brand under their portfolio. In addition to his namesake collection, brands under the Marc Fisher umbrella include Guess, Sigerson Morrison, Kendall + Kylie, Tretorn, Tommy Hilfiger, and most recently Easy Spirit. The award will be accepted by Marc Fisher and Susan Itzkowitz.

Designer of the Year is awarded to Stuart Vevers, Executive Creative Director of Coach, Inc. Vevers joined Coach in 2013 following nearly two decades in the fashion accessory business. At Coach, he has reignited the legendary accessories house as he oversees all creative aspects of the brand, including Women’s and Men’s product design, brand imagery, and store environments.

Fashion Maverick is awarded to Nick Graham. Founder of the underwear line “Joe Boxer,” the brand single-handedly revolutionized an entire category of the fashion industry. Graham has the unique honor of being the first clothing designer on the internet in 1992 and producing the first live-streaming fashion show. In 2013, Graham launched his eponymous line, designing modern menswear by combining classic British menswear with American styling for what he calls the perennial millennial consumer.

Lifetime Achievement is awarded to former Women’s Wear Daily Editor-in-Chief Ed Nardoza. Nardoza led WWD for 25 years. One of the finest editors of his generation, Nardoza built the top news operation across fashion, beauty, and retail.

We thank the AAFA for its support of the CFDA Fashion Manufacturing Initiative, an important program to preserve garment manufacturing in New York,” said Steven Kolb, President and CEO of the CFDA. “With the funds raised on this special evening, CFDA will be able to contribute to an important aspect of New York City’s economy.”

Supporters can join the conversation online using #AmericanImageAwards.