We Caught Up With Ronnie Fieg, Virgil Abloh, Stan Smith and More At The 2017 FN Achievement Awards

Virgil Abloh and Stan Smith attend the Footwear News Achievement Awards at the IAC on November 28, 2017 in New York Image Credit: Patrick MacLeod

The 31st Footwear Achievement Awards took place in Manhattan at the IAC building where some of the most notable fashion designers, influencers and more came together for an epic night to celebrate footwear brilliance. Attendees included Alexa Chung, Brooklyn Beckham, Tommy Hilfiger, Steve Madden, Justine Skye, Skylar Diggins, Vegas Jones, Heron Preston, Hailey Baldwin and many more. The night was filled with sneaker talk and laughs as the night was very huge for the legendary, Stan Smith. The recipient of the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ and Tennis Hall-Of-Famer. Virgial Abloh received the award for ‘Shoe of the Year’ as designer Heron Preston was the presenter of the award. Ronnie Fieg took home ‘Collaborator of the Year’ and Hailey Baldwin took home the award for ‘Style influencer of the Year”. Check out what Stan Smith had to say about Pharrell being apart of adidas and Ronnie Fieg will dish on a upcoming release that LeBron James and him have set to release at the end of this month.

Let’s get into each Q & A Below:

Stan Smith speaks onstage during the Footwear News Achievement Awards at the IAC on November 28, 2017 in New York Image Credit: Patrick MacLeod

Q & A With Stan Smith:

RESPECT.: You are the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award tonight, how cool is that to be honored by Footwear News?

Stan Smith: It’s very cool in 2014, I was nominated for “The Shoe Of The Year” award and that was a great thrill so to get this Lifetime Achievement Award it’s pretty special and I want to thank Footwear News for putting this together.

How awesome is it to be nominated among all these cool visionaries like Virgil Abloh, Ronnie Fieg and Hailey Baldwin?

Stan Smith: Well it’s pretty amazing it’s a lot of talented people out there today doing designing and we’re going to see more interesting items coming along going into the next few years. It’s very special to be out here with all of these people.

You and Pharrell have a pretty close bond, how has it been working with him?

Stan Smith: He’s been great to work with adidas and his collection this year was really good. We spent some time together and it’s been fun to work with him , he’s quite a visionary and so talented in so many different ways and he’s shown he’s talented in designing as well.

How did the collaboration with you guys come about?

Stan Smith: adidas reached out to him to do a collaboration not just for a one time effect but for a continuing sort of a roll and he’s been very effective and some of the content has been phenomenal and great to watch for the young people out there.

Ronnie-Fieg-accepts-the-award-for-Collaborator-of-the-Year-onstage-at-the-2017-FN-Achievement-Awards-Image Credit: Patrick MacLeod

Q & A With Ronnie Fieg:

RESPECT.: How does it feel to be winning “Collaborator of  The Year” ?

Ronnie Fieg: It’s a surreal feeling that I’m not sure has quite sunken in yet but I grew up reading Footwear News for half my life and now I’m receiving the award. This comes full circle for me, you know? It definitely means alot.

Did you expect to ever receive an award off your shoes?

Ronnie Fieg: I don’t expect anything, I just do it to be the best and put out the best possible product that I can. To me it’s like hard work ultimately speaks the loudest and that’s what I concentrate on.

Ronnie Fieg: I did see your show at New York Fashion Week, LeBron James was in it. How did that come about?

We started working on this project, that’s going to release at the end of December and then we started working on the show. We wanted to come up with what we thought would be the most entertaining moment of the show with The King walking out. To bridge the gap of both generations to Scottie to LeBron is just a huge accomplishment for us. It’s something that we have to try and out-do every year. We try to get better and better each year but that one is going to be really hard to top.

Image Credit: Nike

Q & A With Virgil Abloh:

RESPECT.: How cool is it to be nominated by Footwear News with the “Shoe Of The Year Award” ?

Virgil Abloh: It’s Amazing, super surreal I’m honored. I never would’ve thought that a kid from Chicago designing the Jordan 1 would ever land me in this spot. Surreal.

Did you expect the Air Jordan 1 x Virgil Abloh to blow up the way it did?

Nah, I just put my all into it and I’m proud that it’s gained attention but to me the most fulfilling part was making the shoe itself.



Heron Preston on presenting Virgil Abloh with the ‘Shoe Of The Year’ Award: “It’s awesome to have known him for as long as I have. He’s one of my best friends and now to see him win this award I know how much hard work has gone into putting this project together, working with Nike one of his lifelong dreams, it means alot for me to present this award to him.”


The 31st FN Achievement Award honorees and presenters included:

  • Virgil Abloh on behalf of the Air Jordan 1 x Virgil Abloh – Shoe of the Year presented by Heron Preston (Designer)
  • Hailey BaldwinStyle Influencer of the Year presented by Tabitha Simmons (Designer)
  • Alexa Chung on behalf of ALEXACHUNG Launch of the Year presented by Derek Blasberg (Vanity Fair)
  • Stan SmithManolo Blahnik Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Mark King (President of Adidas North America)
  • Ronnie Fieg on behalf of Kith Collaborator of the Year presented by Tommy Hilfiger (Principal Designer, The Tommy Hilfiger Group)
  • Victor LuisPerson of the Year presented by Chloë Grace Moretz (Actress)
  • Gianvito RossiDesigner of the Year presented by Julia Restoin Roitfeld (Art Director / Model)
  • Mary Alice Malone and Roy Luwolt on behalf of Malone SouliersVivian Infantino Emerging Talent Award presented by Jill Kargman (Author)
  • Diane SullivanIcon Award for Social Impact presented by Libby Edelman (Co-Founder, Sam Edelman) and Carla Hendra (Vice-Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide)
  • Gilda Ambrosio and Giorgia Tordini on behalf of Attico – Launch of the Year presented by Roopal Patel (Fashion Director, Saks Fifth Avenue)
  • David Kahan on behalf of BirkenstockBrand of the Year presented by Tarek Hassan (Owner, Concepts)
  • Steve Madden on behalf of Steve Madden Ltd.Company of the Year presented by Caroline Vreeland (Singer / Songwriter)
  • Adam Petrick on behalf of PumaMarketer of the Year presented by Walt Frazier (Former NBA Player) and Skylar Diggins-Smith (WNBA All-Star)
  • Hall of Fame inductees:
    • Liz Rodbell (President, Lord & Taylor) presented by Nina Garcia (Editor-in-Chief, Elle)
    • Rick Ausick (President of Famous Footwear, Caleres) presented by Rick Graham (Senior Vice-President, Skechers Collection, LL

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