When fashion’s “it” footwear designer Amina Muaddi and favorite star-turned-fashion mogul Rihanna joined forces earlier this year for a collaboration, it was a match made in shoe heaven. The blockbuster partnership will now be honored as Collaborator of the Year at the upcoming 2020 FN Achievement Awards.
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Released in July, the capsule generated the biggest design buzz of the summer. Consisting of four high-heel styles done in a number of colorways, the shoes married Muaddi’s innate sense of glamour with Fenty’s knack for pinpointing the epitome of cool. The collaboration also helped to create a newfound sense of excitement for high heels and dressing up during a time when most consumers were turning to casual fashion.
The collaboration also tells of a behind-the-scenes friendship that has grown from mutual appreciation. It was Jahleel Weaver, Rihanna’s stylist, who first introduced the star to Muaddi’s designs. After purchasing multiple pairs for his client, Weaver messaged Muaddi over Instagram to congratulate her on the brand launch.
“Amina is someone whose work I’ve respected for some time now,” Weaver told FN in 2019. “Her shoes always have a strong sense of sex appeal and femininity, which she embodies herself, and is something I look for in my work. We naturally developed a strong friendship on the mutual respect for each other’s sensibilities in terms of style.”
Weaver has also been an integral part of Muaddi’s collaboration with Fenty, which was first announced in December when Muaddi received the 2019 FN Designer of the Year award. Most recently, Muaddi supplied shoes for Rihanna’s Fenty x Savage Show, Vol. 2. And another Fenty collaboration is soon to be announced.
For 34 years, the annual FN Achievement Awards (often called the “Shoe Oscars”) have celebrated the style stars, best brand stories, ardent philanthropists, emerging talents and industry veterans. Previous recipients of the Collaborator of the Year honor have included Tommy Hilfiger and Kith’s Ronnie Fieg.
The first virtual FNAAs will air online Dec. 8 and are sponsored by The Style Room Powered by Zappos, and FDRA. Other honorees include Cardi B as Style Influencer of the Year, Salehe Bembury as Designer of the Year and the Nike Dunk as Shoe of the Year — plus many more.
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