It was a big night for rising talent Jessica Rich as she took home the Emerging Talent award at the 2022 FNAAs on Wednesday in New York.
The designer follows in the footsteps of Mike Amiri, Aurora James, Sophia Webster, Aquazzura and more designers that have taken home the same honor in years past.
“I wanted to take it back to when I was in high school and I was bullied all the time for wearing heels and no one understood why. I’m so happy I never gave up on my dreams of being a designer,” Rich said onstage to accept her trophy. “I also want to thank my retail partners. Some of the guys are here tonight. Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s thank you so much for supporting my brand and allowing an African American designer to be amongst some of the biggest designers who are here and that I look up to, Christian Louboutin and Amina Muaddi. I’m so honored to be on the floor with you guys. This is such an amazing dream come true.”
Rich launched her eponymous brand in 2017 and has been on the rise ever since. Over the past few years, Rich has made her mark in the footwear industry with a collection of ultra-sexy heels that have caught the eye of influential tastemakers like Cardi B, Jennifer Lopez and Kylie Jenner.
For 36 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. The 2022 event is supported by presenting sponsor Nordstrom, as well as Caleres, FDRA, Merrell, Vibram and Volumental.