With Victor Cruz showing up in support of Kith’s Ronnie Fieg, Iris Apfel receiving the first Icon Award and Rihanna replacing Kanye West as this year’s Queen of Shoes, the 30th annual Footwear News Achievement Awards were packed with big moments. Model and actress Christie Brinkley got the night started with some very apropos puns, introducing FN editorial director Michael Atmore, the emcee of the night. And then there were some funny, endearing, heartwarming and even jaw-dropping moments as the presenters and award winners took the stage. Here are some of the most memorable quotes of the night, including an off-script moment from Cuba Gooding Jr.
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“I can’t help it — I like puns, so excuse me if I lace a few into my intro tonight. They just kind of roll off my tongue. That’s how I get my kicks.” — Christie Brinkley
“Quite simply, the Creeper killed it. When the best-seller launched, it sold out in three hours. And every iteration after has fallen suit.” — Michael Atmore, Footwear News editorial director
“I didn’t really expect people to love it the way I do. And the way they supported it, it means so much to me. All the Creeper heads, all the kids in the street that inspired me just like doing things their own way.” — Rihanna on the Fenty Puma Creeper, the Shoe of the Year winner
“Whenever you get these kinds of awards, you hear all these incredible things about yourself, and you say, ‘Really? Is that me?’ I think there’s a part of us that is always that young, wide-eyed person who comes from some small town somewhere, and you sometimes can’t believe how lucky you are to have had the opportunities you’ve had in New York, in particular, which is really the epicenter of fashion and the business of fashion.” — Linda Fargo, SVP fashion and store presentation director, who was presented with a Hall of Fame Award
“When you dream that you can change things, when you dream that extraordinary things can happen, when you dream that the world can be a different place than it is today, extraordinary things happen every day.” — Mark King, president of Adidas North America, Person of the Year winner
“Paul wanted me to tell everyone here that everyone gets a free pair of Paul Andrew shoes!” — Actor Ansel Elgort, the presenter of Designer of the Year
“My favorite television show in England, ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ — yeah this is really bad — Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone told me that Saks Fifth Avenue was the destination in fashion in New York, so I had to go. So I can’t tell you how special it felt Saks, thanks to Ron and Tracey, were the first retailer to place an order for my collection.” — Paul Andrew, designer and winner of the 2016 Designer of the Year Award
“I created a character called Mars Blackman that loved Michael Jordan, and Morris wore Air Jordans. And Jim Wiswald and Bill Davenport and Wieden + Kennedy saw the film and called me up and said, ‘We want to put you together with Michael Jordan. We want to shoot the commercials in black and white — the same as the film — you direct him. You play yourself. You play the character Mars Blackman. And we want Michael Jordan to be in it. But there’s one catch: Michael Jordan doesn’t know who the f**k you are. He hasn’t seen the film, and he just signed a new contract to giving approval to the director.’ “ — Spike Lee, director, presenter for Nike’s Marketer of the Year Award
“I was literally born and raised in a shoe factory. No, literally — that’s true.” – Alexandre Birman for Schutz, Brand of the Year winner.
“I think we all owe a debt of gratitude for this amazing meal they put together tonight. Because nothing says I love you like fucking sugar. Fucking boxed lunch. I’m drunk now, motherfuckers, so deal with it. I thought the BET Awards were cheap. … On the red carpet — and I’ll finish with this and bring him up — everybody said, ‘Once you go John Varvatos, you never go back.’ You have black in you! I knew that!” — Cuba Gooding Jr.
“Sorry, I was just finishing dinner.” — Michael Atmore, FN editorial director, made light of Gooding’s complaint about the night’s cocktail hour menu
“I am a Jewish kid from Queens, and I have no business being in this room right now with the amount of — I’m just super honored to be part of this crazy group of people that I see in here tonight.” — Ronnie Fieg for Kith, Retailer of the Year winner.
“Oh, my God, everyone’s muscles have atrophied.” — Michael Kors, presenter for Launch of the Year, addreseses Gooding’s remark on how only hor d’oeuvres were served.
“There’s no age limit on living out your dreams.” — Zendaya for Daya by Zendaya, the Launch of the Year winner.
“Tonight is very special to me because my family is here with me — my children: David, Douglas, Daniela, my nephew Emanuel, as well as my wife, Diane, who helped me all those years. Aldo, after all, is a family company.” — Aldo Bensadoun, Manolo Blahnik Lifetime Achievement Award winner.
“I think I should get an award for closet shoe designer of the century.” — Iris Apfel, Icon Award winner, referring to her experience designing shoes with Amedeo Canfora nearly 50 years ago.