In 1981, 1982, and 1983, the color and image industry exploded with new entrants. Since these consultants needed support and education, it made sense to form an image association. In 1983, that step was taken simultaneously on both the East and West Coast by AIC and AFIC, AICI’s founding associations.
Brenda York began the Association of Fashion & Image Consultants (AFIC) in Washington DC. Alyce Klussman and Jean De Forest developed an extensive certification program, first offered to members in 1987. Annual conventions were held on Kiawah Island, SC in February 1985; in New York in August 1986 and August 1987; and in McLean, VA in February 1990. AFIC's presidents were Brenda York, 1983-1987; Alyce Klussman, 1987-1988; Carole Jackson, 1988-1989; and Jennifer Morris, 1989-1990. AFIC brought 300 members and nine chapters to the merger with AIC. Chapters included the Carolinas, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New England, New York/Tri-State, Washington DC, Washington State, London, and Tokyo.
The Association of Image Consultants (AIC) had at its roots a San Francisco meeting of three consultants in 1981. The formation of the organization began with five consultants meeting for a year during 1982. The first general meeting of interested consultants was held in the fall of 1982.
By 1983, AIC was a formalized association. Their goal of professionalizing the image industry led to stringent screening of applicants and a provisional year of membership. AIC's conventions were held in San Francisco in July 1986, and Palo Alto in July 1989. AIC’s presidents were Diane Parente, 1983-1985; Alyce Parsons, 1985-1986; Sharon Parsons, 1986-1987; Lynn Farris, 1987-1988; Sue Weinman, 1988-1989; and Bay Alexander, 1989-1991. AIC brought 100 members and four chapters to the merger. AIC chapters included Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. Founding members were Joan Hales, Jeane Johnson, Coralyn Lundell, Suzie Woodward Morris, and Diane Parente.
The Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) developed from the merger of AFIC and AIC in 1990 and chose as its description, "The premier international image association." This motto was chosen because it represented a merger of the two oldest image associations, had the largest membership, and was dedicated to being first and best.
By 1993, there were chapters in Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, New England, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, and Tokyo. The Toronto Chapter was formed in 1994, and the Basel, Switzerland Chapter was formed in 1995. By 2019 AICI had spread across the globe and now has 35 chapters throughout Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, Mexico, South America and the USA.
In 2020 AICI WEST will celebrate it's official 30th birthday and will mark three decades of prominence in the Image Consulting Industry.