This fall, the Black Eyed Peas member has stepped up in the battle against breast cancer as the face of QVC Presents “FFANY Shoes on Sale.”
“This disease has affected too many women and families,” said the singer and actress, whose parents and grandmother were diagnosed with other forms of cancer. “I’m honored to be given the chance to raise awareness for such a special cause.”
Fergie, who has also garnered five No. 1 solo hits and snagged a Grammy nomination, has in recent years become a force in the footwear industry after partnering with Brown Shoe Co. in 2009 on her Fergie and Fergalicious lines. Here, she tells Footwear News about joining with QVC and FFANY to promote breast cancer awareness, picking the best stage-friendly kicks and what she’s learned from Brown.
FN: Why did you get involved with Shoes on Sale?
SF: Bringing awareness to the fight against breast cancer is something that is really important to me. … My mom, dad and grandmother each had various forms of cancer. My parents are both survivors, [and] their strength and determination to overcome such a horrific disease was something I’ll never forget. Unfortunately, a few years ago, my grandmother lost her [long] battle, and it was a difficult time for us as a family. I want to do everything I possibly can to help raise funds so that doctors and researchers are able to find a cure.
FN: Shoes on Sale also includes a broadcast on QVC, where a limited-edition Fergie shoe will be sold. What makes this style special?
SF: The Hope is a specialized version of a shoe from the fall ’10 collection, [with] detailing reminiscent of the breast cancer ribbon. It has a 4-inch heel, which makes your legs look amazing, and the pink is striking and really feminine. It makes me happy that this shoe may bring joy to supporters of the cause or to those personally fighting breast cancer.
FN: What have you learned about the footwear industry since you began working with Brown?
SF: I’ve had such a blast. The team of designers has taught me so much about functionality, fit and how to infuse my personal style into every shoe. I try on the shoes as we’re creating the collections [because] being comfortable is a huge part of feeling confident. I want my shoes to do more than just complete an outfit, I want them to encourage women to strut their stuff.
FN: Who is your customer and what is she looking for in footwear?
SF: She’s looking to feel feminine with a bit of an edge. The Fergie collection is all about fashion and glamour. The designs are a bit more mature, [and the] inspiration comes from red-carpet events, traveling and my very own closet. Fergalicious by Fergie is for the young at heart, [and] the bright colors and fun details make the shoes more [of] a statement about one’s personality. I wanted to make sure that this line was affordable, so the price point is more accessible.
FN: Can we expect any new Fergie categories, such as handbags or other accessories, anytime soon?
SF: I’m always looking for outlets to express my creativity. There are some things being discussed, but you will have to wait and see.
FN: What are your favorite footwear styles for performances?
SF: I’m really active onstage, so being comfortable is key. I need to be able to move around, dance and engage the audience, so I prefer wedges, low heels or flats. I can do heels for one or two songs, but I can’t do a walk-over in a stiletto, so I have to switch it up.
FN: Aside from your own label, what footwear brands do you have in your shoe closet?
SF: Some of my favorites are Giuseppe Zanotti, Christian Louboutin, Cesare Paciotti, Jimmy Choo. I could go on and on. Shoes are the main reason I had to expand my closet.
FN: When it comes to music you listen to, what bands or albums are you most excited about right now?
SF: My iPod is a mixture of everything, from R&B and jazz to classic rock, [but] right now I’m obsessed with the new Linkin Park album, “A Thousand Suns.” It’s amazing.
FN: You’ve been on the road a lot lately with the Black Eyed Peas. What else do you have on your plate?
SF: Traveling the world with the Peas has been amazing. But I [also] have a new video with Slash [for the song “Beautiful Dangerous”] coming out soon, the holiday and resort collections for Fergie and Fergalicious will be coming to stores in the next few weeks, and my “Outspoken by Fergie” Avon fragrance recently debuted. It’s been a busy year.