by Stephen Garner

The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) announced on Thursday its American Image Award honorees to be celebrated virtually on June 21st. Celebrating Fashion’s Future, the AAFA says that this year’s honorees exemplify leadership, excellence, and outstanding achievement in all sectors of the apparel and footwear industry, including design, manufacturing, and retail.

The honorees are HanesBrands, Inc. – Company of the Year; Walmart – Retail Innovator of the Year; Gabriela Hearst – Designer of the Year; Black in Fashion Council (BIFC) – Fashion Maverick; and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) as the inaugural recipient of the Eco-Steward of the Year. Celebrating the fifth year in partnership, the gala benefits the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Foundation.

The association has launched the Eco-Steward of the Year award to honor the industry’s movement to accelerate its eco-journey and fashion’s contribution to protect the future of our planet and its people.

“This spring, we will celebrate the brilliant thread of unity that our industry has rallied around for the past year. We are energized around new realities, confronting new challenges, and advancing new opportunities,” said Steve Lamar, president and CEO of AAFA. “On June 21, we celebrate this industry’s future, honoring the talents and contributions of our incredible honorees as well as their ability to empower and inspire so many more.”

“This past year has been testing for the fashion industry, and designers and retail businesses have had to navigate new challenges,” added Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA. “We are very pleased to see how this time has aimed focus on important issues in fashion such as diversity and inclusion, sustainability, and overall excellence, as our talent pivots to look to the future.”