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The designer chatted with PEOPLE at the 2023 Footwear News Achievement Awards, where she was honored with the Icon Award by her mom Tina Simpson
Jessica Simpson was a pioneer of Y2K-era fashion from her reality TV days to TRL appearances and viral music videos. And 20 years later, she admits she's still loyal to the aesthetic.
“I feel like I've never really left that style,” the fashion mogul and musician, 43, tells PEOPLE exclusively on the red carpet at the 2023 Footwear News Achievement Awards in New York City.
Simpson — who was honored with the Icon Award at Wednesday night's ceremony — also referenced her love of early aughts footwear, adding, “I always go back to a platform when it comes to a shoe. I have my staples and they end up being a little Y2K-[inspired].”
Simpson often shares outfit shots on Instagram featuring her favorite footwear (she once teamed a pair of neon pink inches-high wedges with a bright green bikini) as well as some of her other 2000s-era essentials, such as wide studded statement belts and cheetah-print pieces.
She brought some of that flair to the red carpet Wednesday, posing in a sheer floor-length Fjolla Nila gown featuring a sheer skirt and covered in crystals. She rounded out the shimmering number with metallic silver platform heels from her own Jessica Simpson Collection .
Simpson was awarded for creating "one of fashion’s longest-running success stories." Her eponymous line — which she founded with her mom Tina Simpson, who presented her daughter at the event — spans multiple categories including clothing, shoes, accessories, beauty and more.
In a statement shared exclusively with PEOPLE, she opened up about receiving the milestone amongst her industry peers.
“I am honored that my spirit has connected with people who need it in ways that are obvious and ways that are more subliminal,” she said. “The fact that Footwear News is bestowing that title on this gal from Texas helps to illuminate the path ahead.”
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Onstage, Simpson credited her success and her sartorial savvy to her mom and “fashion icon.”
“She inspired me to be up here tonight. She prayed for me in her belly and put all of her love and blessings into my entire existence. So being here right now is very humbling,” she said during her speech.
Admitting that she first didn’t know how to react to her new status — “When I got this call about being an icon, I was like, ‘Yeah, I'm way, way too young for that.’ Then I did the math and I'm like, ‘No, you're 43. Jessica, you're 43. You can be an icon’,” — Simpson shared what the title means to her.
“I've been trying to wrap my soul around understanding an icon and I think an icon is just somebody that was born with purpose and the determination to fulfill that purpose no matter what it may be.”
She then thanked her design team for giving her the opportunity to bring people “a little bit of hope and confidence when they walk out the doors.”
“I do want to say that I hope that God blesses all of y'all's footsteps and each and every decision that you make from here on out, just know that it's a powerful one. It's worth making even if it's a small one. It might change your life,” she encouraged at the end of her speech.
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Read the original article on People.