AAFA Honors Ruthie Davis

It was a night to remember for Ruthie Davis.

The New York-based designer was honored at the American Apparel & Footwear Association’s American Image Awards on Tuesday evening. The group named her as its footwear designer of the year.

“I love designing shoes and believe in building a brand that pushes the limits,” said Davis, who produces her collection in Italy.

The designer noted the award represents a major milestone in her career. “I’m blown away by tonight. It’s such an inspiring event,” she said of the gala, which benefited the Special Olympics. (Ten athletes from the organization were on hand for the festivities.)

To help her celebrate, Davis brought singer Ashanti to the awards, along with menswear designer John Bartlett and Duckie Brown duo Steven Cox and Daniel Silver. Her husband and several other friends and colleagues were also in attendance.

Other winners during the night included William Sweedler, managing partner of Tengram Capital Partners, who took home the Man of the Year award; and Barry Sternlicht, founder, chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, who received Humanitarian of the Year honors. DL1961 was named the denim brand of the year, while Robert Graham was the menswear brand of the year. Supima Cotton was honored as the premium fiber brand of the year.

Actress Marlee Matlin hosted the awards, while Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan and basketball great Sam Perkins also lent their support to the cause.

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