Andrea Wazen took home FN’s Emerging Talent of the Year Award on Tuesday night during the FN Achievement Awards virtual ceremony.
Wazen manufactures her shoes in her hometown in Beirut, which sets her apart from many luxury designers. Since launching online in 2017, she is finding success through her own e-commerce platform, as well as at stockists in the Middle East, including Level Shoes in Dubai and Galeries Lafayette in Qatar.
“This is really unreal considering the year I’ve been through,” Wazen said in her acceptance speech. “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.” (The Aug. 4 blast killed more than 150 people, injured thousands and obliterated Wazen’s store and offices.)
In response, Wazen went back to her roots and dedicated her spring ’21 collection to her city.
“I felt so sad and angry at that time that i felt that I needed to put that energy and emotion into design,” she added. “These are situations in life where you’re made to decide if you should give up or should I just grab myself together, do the best I can, because at the end of the day this is what life is.”
She concluded her acceptance speech, saying, “Beirut, this award is for you.”
Source: Nikara Johns