Highlights From Rihanna’s 2016 FNAA Acceptance Speech for Shoe of the Year

Though she got her start in music, Rihanna has now become a legitimate force in the fashion world through her Fenty fashion house.

And at least twice she’s made an indelible impact on the footwear industry as well. In 2020, her Fenty collaboration with shoe designer Amina Muaddi nabbed the two of them (plus stylist Jaleel Weaver) the FN Collaborator of the Year award.

But her biggest footwear moment came at the 30th annual FN Achievement Awards in 2016, where she was presented with the Shoe of the Year award for the Fenty Puma Creeper — an event that effectively crowned her as the “Queen of Shoes.”

Rihanna’s Fenty Puma Creeper was an incredible success after it launched in September 2015, selling out in hours every time new pairs were released. Rihanna, of course, arrived to the FNAAs wearing a black-and-white pair of Creepers, which stood out for their ridged platform sole.

Rihanna was the first woman to win the Shoe of the Year award. Kanye West won the honor for the Yeezy Boost 350 in 2015, and Stan Smith won for the Adidas Stan Smith sneaker in 2014.

In her speech at the awards ceremony in New York, Rihanna said that the award made her “proud to be a woman and proud to be a young woman from Barbados, especially.”

Rihanna FNAA 2016
Rihanna arrives at the FNAAs wearing Fenty Puma Creepers.
CREDIT: Shutterstock
Rihanna FNAA 2016
Rihanna’s Fenty Puma Creepers.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

The singer and designer added that she never expected people to love the Creepers as much as she does.

“I didn’t expect people to love it the way I do, and the way they’ve supported it means so much to me,” Rihanna said.

She also gave a shoutout to her fans and inspiration: “All the Creeper fans and all the kids in the street who inspire me by doing things their own way.”

Watch the video below of Rihanna accepting her FNAA Shoe of the Year honor:

Since its inception in 1986, the FN Achievement Awards have honored some of the biggest names in shoes — the people, companies and brands that have shaped the industry and its storied history.

The star-studded event, often dubbed the “Shoe Oscars” is held each winter in New York, with the exception of the 2020 awards, which went virtual. Past honorees have included a wide range of legends including Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Steve Madden, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karen, as well as trailblazers such as Kerby Jean-Raymond, Amina Muaddi, Virgil Abloh, Kanye West and — of course — Rihanna.


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