Insider: Overachievers...Tiger Beat

The scoop from the FNAAs and Two Ten dinner.

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Photo By Christian Grattan

Mindy Grossman

Photo By Steve Eichner


As always, Footwear News’ Achievement Awards, held on Dec. 2 at the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York, proved to be fertile ground for gabbing and gossip. Grammy Award-winning singer Ashanti, who introduced Designer of the Year Giuseppe Zanotti, took some time out from the evening to dish about her love for the shoe star. “I’ve been infatuated with Giuseppe since my first album. I’m so proud of him,” said the singer, who was wearing a dress by Los Angeles line Carmelita. The songstress, who is working on a new album, also recently inked a production deal and is busy at work producing a TV series. “I’m behind the scenes on this one. I might pop up [on the show] here and there, like Diddy or Trump, but I’m mostly behind the scenes,” she joked. Meanwhile, Zanotti and Alexandre Birman chatted in Italian, sharing their love for both Brazil and Italy and promising to meet up in Milan in the coming season. Birman, this year’s recipient of the Vivian Infantino Emerging Talent Award, told Insider he might some day consider living in New York with his new bride, Johanna. Zanotti himself was in a contemplative mood, reminiscing about his first FNAA win nine years ago — and how quickly the time has passed. “I’m not a young designer anymore. I’m old,” he said, with a bit of Zanotti sparkle. “But if you have creativity in you, it’s always there.” Tabitha Simmons, who claimed she was wearing “George’s dress” (as in Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, who was at her table), said she was headed straight for the airport from the event. “I’m flying to Venice tonight to check on the fall collection at the factory. I told George I hope she doesn’t need this dress back before Friday!” Soles4Souls founder Wayne Elsey said over cocktails that his organization is about to get some major exposure this January, when it’s featured on an episode of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Also in January, Elsey said, Clothes4Souls will make its debut, though he was mum on specific details. And in April (busy year!), Soles4Souls will unveil a new headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., for the growing organization. “It’s going to be a great year,” Elsey said. Finally, in the spirit of bringing people together (which is, of course, a side benefit of the FNAAs) Insider was delighted to hear of the 20-year friendship between Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN, and Matt Rubel, CEO of Collective Brands. “He’s my best friend. We’ve known each other forever,” Grossman said of Rubel, who even introduced her to her husband. Grossman also gushed about the shoe biz at HSN, which she said is growing rapidly. “I’m so passionate about shoes. It’s becoming a huge category for us.”

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