Katy Perry Kicks Off 2018 FFANY Shoes on Sale Gala, Praises Tabitha Simmons for Inspiration and Support

Charlie Carballo

The fight to eradicate breast cancer got a boost of star power tonight from boldface name entertainers and the footwear industry’s big players at the 25th annual Fashion Footwear Association of New York’s Shoes on Sale Gala, presented by QVC. The ceremony, held at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York, raises funds for breast cancer research and honors those who have made contributions to the cause.

Pop star-shoe designer Katy Perry, who serves as the 2018 FFANY ambassador, arrived in head-to-toe pale pink — an apt tribute to the color embraced by breast cancer awareness supporters. Perry’s outfit included a jumpsuit with a long train and matching pumps. Taking to the stage, she introduced Designer of the Year honoree, Tabitha Simmons.

Perry shared that Simmons has been a source of inspiration and support. “I keep returning to Tabitha’s collections because they are a gateway to a fantasy world, one each of us can all reach via a knee-high lace-up boot or velvet pump,” she said. “Two years ago I started my own shoe line, Katy Perry Collections, and it’s been an incredible learning process for me. Designing takes vision, patience and constant reinvention — no easy task. Luckily, I have Tabitha, my shoe shaman, on speed dial.”

Perry’s footwear label launched in 2016 as a joint venture with Global Brands Group Holding Ltd.

Simmons told FN on the pink carpet that it’s a “huge honor” to receive the award. “Breast cancer is a huge thing and I think it’s important that people are aware and get checked out and raise money for research and breast cancer awareness.”

Glowing on the pink carpet was Jessica Simpson, who highlighted her baby bump in a ribbed floor-length beaudeux gown.

Olivia Palermo, who will be honored with the Influential Figure in Fashion Award, had on a black tuxedo jacket over a matching dress with sandals.

Some of the other guests included Sam Edelman, Cheri Fromm and Ron Fromm, FFANY president and CEO, and more.

Edelman, founder of his eponymous brand, reflected on his many years working with FFANY Shoes on Sale alongside his wife, Libby. “We’ve been involved for a long time and we’ve gone through so much — the great achievements and the sadness. It’s a part of us — it’s ingrained in our nature. I hope it’s ingrained in our son and my family.”

Adding, “We need to find a cure to breast cancer because it steals our mothers and daughters, it steals our wives. It steals the great love we have for women.”

For the past 25 years, FFANY and the QVC network have sold more than 2 million pairs of donated shoes and raised more than $55 million to benefit breast cancer research centers across the U.S.

“It has been just a mind-boggling experience to learn about the talented scientific minds that are engaged in finding a cure [for cancer],” said Ron Fromm, FFANY president. “And the amazing thing is that from 25 years of raising breast cancer awareness, today the funding is actually curing breast cancer in some patients.”

In tandem with the award ceremony, QVC will broadcast from its headquarters in West Chester, Penn., hosted by Jane Treacy. Nearly 80,000 pairs of shoes from 126 brands will be for sale during the broadcast.

See the famous faces and other guests at the 2018 FFANY Shoes on Sale gala.

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