It was an especially emotional dinner last night at the 36th Annual AAFA American Image Awards as the opening ceremony featured a procession of Special Olympic athletes who then led the crowd in a moving rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Olympian Michelle Kwan spoke eloquently about the Special Olympics program, as did its CEO Janet Froetscher, who thanked the AAFA for generously donating the evening’s proceeds to this fabulous organization that addresses injustice and intolerance by empowering people with intellectual disabilities.
Marlee Matlin was the event’s stunning, sequined hostess who did a great job of moving the program along at an appropriate pace. The award winners spoke graciously; they included footwear designer Ruthie Davis, Robert Stock and Michael Buckley from Robert Graham (Menswear Designer of the Year), Denim Brand of the Year DL1961, Premium Fiber Brand of the Year Supima Cotton, Humanitarian of the Year Barry Sternlicht of Starwood Capital Group and Man of the Year, our industry’s own Bill Sweedler of Tengram Capital Partners.
Dress code for the event was, for the first time ever, “Festive Black Tie with Sneakers Optional.” Our votes for Best Dressed: the always elegant Joe Barrato (above, left) and the wonderfully creative Robert Graham design director Thomas Main (at right in righthand photo). Sneakers have never looked so good!