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100-Year-Old Iris Apfel Walks the Carpet + More Fashion Stars Honored at 2021 ACE Awards

It as a star-studded affair at The Accessories Council’s 25th annual ACE Awards on Tuesday night in New York. The event honored individuals and companies who have furthered the awareness and use of accessories, including 100-year-old style icon Iris Apfel.

“[My mother] instilled in me that when funds were low it was better to have a few good basic pieces of clothing and put your money into accessories… I thought it was a wonderful idea and I’ve been living on it ever since,” Iris Apfel said while accepting her Super Hero trophy.

Iris apfel, ace awards, 2021
Iris Apfel walks the red carpet at the 2021 ACE Awards.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Accessories Council

Celebrating the ACE Awards’ 25th anniversary, this year’s honorees were recognized for being heroes. After the last 18 months, the Accessories Council wanted to specifically recognize the generosity, good work, and heart and soul of the industry. All honorees showed accomplishments in COVID-19 relief, sustainability, ongoing charitable work and/or inclusivity and diversity over the past year.

Christian Siriano, for example, was awarded for his work in creating medical masks during the height of pandemic in New York last year. Whoopi Goldberg made an appearance to present him with the award.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 02: Christian Siriano (L) and Whoopi Goldberg attend the 25th Annual ACE Awards on November 02, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Accessories Council)
Christian Siriano and Whoopi Goldberg attend the 25th Annual ACE Awards.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Accessories Council

He told FN, “It wasn’t like we were after goal, I just reacted. I’m a New York-based designer. We should make more product here because we are good at it. I just like making clothes and making people feel good.”

A check for $25,000 was also presented on behalf of Qurate Retail Group during the evening to Blessings in a Backpack, a non-profit organization that feeds school children in the United States who currently are fed during the week on the federally funded Free and Reduced Meal Program and at risk of going hungry on the weekends.

Other honorees included designer LaQuan Smith, who was presented with his award by Ciara, Crocs, Carolina Herrera creative director Wes Gordon, Shopbop, Caleres and Allen Edmonds, Qurate Retail Group and The NPD Group’s Karyn Schoenbart.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 02: LaQuan Smith (L) and Ciara attend the 25th Annual ACE Awards on November 02, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Accessories Council)
LaQuan Smith and Ciara attend the 25th Annual ACE Awards.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Accessories Council

This year’s event sponsors included Caleres, Coach, Informa Markets Fashion, Judith Leiber, Luxottica, Marchon, Safilo Group Signal Brands, and Vera Bradley.

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