Lebanese shoe designer Andrea took to social media to announce her victory, posting a series of images of her holding the award. “What a feeling,” Andrea wrote on Instagram to her 175,000 followers. “Thank you Footwear News and Michael Atmore for recognizing me as this year’s Emerging Talent at the #FNAA2020 digital awards that took place this evening… I cannot explain the joy and satisfaction I am feeling,” she added. She then continued to thank stylist Jill Jacobs, who presented her with the award, and her team, before adding, “I would like to dedicate this award to my beautiful city, my source of inspiration, and my home; Beirut.”
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The designer’s atelier was among those that were destroyed by the devastating port explosion in Beirut, on August 4. Alongside the challenges presented by the Beirut explosion and the coronavirus pandemic this year, Andrea noted that after feeling “so sad and so angry” she poured her emotions into designing. “This is really unreal considering what a year I’ve been through,” Andrea told FN in a video when receiving her award. “As you might already know I am a Lebanese designer based in Beirut and Beirut has been through so much this past year between the economic collapse, the revolution, the pandemic and to top it all off there was the explosion that ruined absolutely all the city,” she added.
Andrea’s sister Karen shared the clip of the footwear designer receiving the Emerging Talent award, on social media. On her Instagram Stories, Karen wrote, “I am so proud of this girl. She won best emerging talent at the Footwear News Awards last night and it’s so well deserved. I love you.”