Archive for October, 2009

Q&A: Steve Madden

Steve Madden of footwear fame was in Charlotte recently.
This should come as no surprise, but I have adored his shoes since the mid 1990s, when I was a recent college grad and obsessed with a pair of Spice Girls-esque fat-heeled, platform, ruby-red patent loafers. (Cut me some fashion slack — that was the look then!)

I still have my suede, wooden-heeled platform Maddens I wore on my first trip to Italy ages ago, and I love them just as much as I do the rad slouchy, buckled-laden biker boots I picked up at the Madden store in Charleston a few seasons ago.

He took the time to answer a few questions:

Q. How does the Steve Madden brand manage to appeal to such a range of fashion tastes? I always have my design team shop the streets in high fashion cities to keep their finger on the pulse of current trends.

Q. What’s your favorite boot for this fall? Short western boots! They work with boyfriend jeans, shorts, and skinny jeans, so it’s the right item no matter type of climate you live in.

Q. Has the days of extreme heels passed? Is it all about flats for Spring (Marc Jacobs showed an entire collection at NYFW with flats)? Our customers, ages 17-40, will always want heels. It gives you a bigger presence, and shows your unique style. But today flat or high shoes can be worn.

Q. The ’80s are back in a big way for fall and even into Spring. How do you see that playing out in footwear? Western was a huge trend in the ’80s, as it is now. Also, the neon colors of the ’80s are resurfacing.

Q. I am loving studded everything this fall, especially shoes. What advice would you give to someone considering a shoe with hardware embellishments? Go out and buy them!

Q. Why do you think studs/metallic detailing is so popular right now? Studs and metallic detailing are big right now because there’s an ’80s-inspired, neo-punk revolution happening.

Q. What is your prediction for the next “new” shoe silhouette? How about heel style? What is your must have shoe for fall? For spring 2010? Menswear is coming on board because it looks great with boyfriend (or ex-boyfriend) jeans. I love Oxfords and lace-up booties.

Q. What is on the horizon for the Steve Madden brand? We’re moving into clothing, and going gung-ho on all our accessories; handbags, belts, and wallets.


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Two of my favorite things came together for a great cause during New York Fashion Week in September: Sharpie and Betsey Johnson.

My love for the markers knows no bounds, so I was thrilled to hear the company tapped the designer who has incorporated doodle-like drawings into her signature look.

Johnson, a breast cancer survivor, visited the Sharpie Bar inside the tents at Bryant Park to customize an exclusive T-shirt that was auctioned off to benefit City of Hope Cancer Research Center.

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