Anna Wintour Reveals the Surprising Shoes Tabitha Simmons Used to Wear to Go Clubbing

Tabitha Simmons has had quite the year.

She got married, had a baby and worked on a number of big-name collaborations including Brock Collection and Johanna Ortiz — even launching the latest footwear collection under her namesake brand.

The shoe designer is accepting the coveted Designer of the Year Award tonight at the 2018 FNAAs — and she didn’t hold back when speaking with FN in an interview before the ceremony.

“I’ve been wanting this award for so long — I can’t tell you. I’m so excited,” Simmons gushed.

Introducing the talent was Vogue editor-in-chief and Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour, who took a trip down memory lane to share a personal story about her close friend. (Simmons also works at Vogue as a contributing editor.)

“Years ago, Tabitha and [model and singer-songwriter] Karen Elson shared an apartment in New York — and like most young women in the city, they liked to go out,” Wintour began.

“Tabitha would then dance all night at various Manhattan clubs. She danced in a pair of ragged white Victorian ice skates. She wore them like a pair of comfortable and practical biker boots — never batting an eyelid or complaining that her feet were hurting or even acknowledging that she was on ice skates. She only gave up on them when the blades finally offed,” she said. “No surprise that Tabitha became an extraordinary shoe designer.”

Despite launching her brand almost a decade ago, Simmons still believes she has much to offer to her consumers. “I’m still a baby in the shoe industry, getting my identity,” she said. “I want to be able to say [to the customer]: ‘This is our shoe, and this is how it feels.'”

The FN Achievement Awards is a night in which business leaders, A-list celebrities, big-name influencers and more gather at the IAC Building in New York to recognize and celebrate veteran brands, emerging talents and revitalized retailers (watch the livestream here). This year’s honorees include Bruce Nordstrom, who was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award; Diane Sullivan as Person of the Year; Tabitha Simmons as Designer of the Year; and Christie Brinkley and her daughters, Sailor Brinkley-Cook and Alexa Ray Joel, as FN’s first multigenerational style influencers; and more. ( Learn more about all the honorees here.)

The sponsors for the awards are FFANY, the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America, Micam, Zappos Luxury, Ruffino Wine and Avery Dennison RBIS.

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