The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) is set to honor New Balance Athletics Inc. as Company of the Year at the 2023 American Image Awards Gala on Tuesday, April 25 at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.
According to the AAFA, New Balance is recognized for its values-led culture and long-standing commitment to domestic manufacturing, with five owned factories in New England and one in Flimby, U.K. New Balance president and CEO Joe Preston will accept the award.
Steve Lamar, president and CEO of AAFA, said in a statement on Tuesday that the “visions, missions, and transformations” of this year’s honorees “shine a light” on the advancements among the organization’s members. “This celebration recognizes some of the many ways our industry’s leaders have accelerated traceability and transparency efforts, innovated supply chains through U.S. manufacturing, and advanced goals for a more inclusive and responsible industry,” said Lamar.
The event will be emceed by Segun Oduolowu for the third year and will once again benefit the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Foundation marking the seventh year of philanthropic partnership.
Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA, added in a statement that the organization thanks the AAFA for the “continued focus on our strong partnership and support” of the CFDA Foundation. “The CFDA, through important programs and key partnerships such as with the AAFA, serves the needs of our American designer members and helps them advance their goals while continuing to provide social impact and philanthropic initiatives to better the American fashion industry at large,” Kolb said
The AAFA’s annual American Image Awards Gala celebrates outstanding persons and companies for their leadership, excellence, and noteworthy achievements in all sectors of the apparel and footwear industry, bringing together the areas of design, manufacturing, retail, and social impact as one.
Past honorees in footwear include Marc Fisher, Coach, Ruthie Davis, Birkenstock, Camuto Group, Kenneth Cole and more.