Evelyn Lozada is always having a fashion moment.
This season, the reality television star and author made her buzzed-about return to VH1’s “Basketball Wives,” the reality show she helped gain a cult following when it debuted in 2010.
And in true Evelyn-fashion (pun intended), she brought with her a mega ratings bump and a slew of looks that sent fans flocking to her Instagram comments section and Twitter page asking, “Where can I get that [insert clothing, footwear or accessory item here]?”
Lozada — who could arguably take credit for a resurgence in door knocker earrings due to her perennial larger-than-life hoops in Season 1 — has an infectious sense of style that is both relatable and aspirational to her fans and followers.
“I remember one time people were writing me like, ‘Oh my God, I love your boots, where can I get those?’” Lozada recalled when Footwear News caught up with her this week. “And I actually went on the internet and looked around and started finding boots and posted them. Because sometimes people don’t know where to go or how to look for [certain things].”
The mother to 23-year-old Shaniece Hairston and 3-year-old Leo Crawford prides herself in handling all of her social media accounts and regularly chats with her followers. Naturally, her effortless ability to mix high and low fashions — from H&M tops to Chanel slides — has been a sort of secret sauce to keeping her fans locked in.
Lozada, the former co-owner of Miami shoe boutique Dulce, also has a hard-to-miss shoe infatuation. In addition to her fun combination of head-to-toe ensembles and gush-worthy photos of her son, Lozada’s Instagram grid is a shoe lover’s dream.
Here, she gets candid about her shoe addiction, personal style evolution and why she critiques her cast members’ fashion choices.
Where does your love for shoes come from?
“I always connect it with growing up in New York City — everyone has a swag about them. I [also] went to a fashion high school. And always, as a child, I wanted certain shoes and certain sneakers, and my mom was a single parent and really couldn’t afford certain things that I wanted at the time. So it’s sort of my upbringing.”
Why did you open Dulce?
“We decided to open up the shoe store because me and my [business] partner at the time both had a love for shoes. Being in Miami [back then], we felt that we wanted to open up a shoe store with that New York City vibe. At that time, I would buy my shoes at this boutique in New York, and I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be kind of great for us to have something like that in Miami?’ And that’s how the whole shoe store thing came about.”
How has your taste in shoes and fashion evolved since when you first landed fame and money?
“[In the beginning] I was definitely really big on red bottoms,] and I will say this: They are not the most comfortable shoes. And I’m always like, ‘God they’re so cute, but they hurt.’ I used to always wear heels everywhere I went. Now — especially after having Leo — I find a balance; I don’t wear heels everywhere I’m going because I’m always running around. I wear more sneakers. And I’ve always been a sneakerhead. But [these days], I may do more luxury [brands] like a Balenciaga. I mix highs with lows. I’ll also get an old-school pair of Reeboks and be happy. Today, I have on flip flops — Havaianas with crystals on it, which were $100.”
How many pairs of shoes do you own? And what are your favorite styles?
“500 or so. I have shoes in storage too. I have every Yeezy because I’m into Yeezys and comfort. A lot of Giuseppe [Zanotti] — I’m really into their flats. I love it if I could just wear a cute flat. I don’t buy as many [Christian] Louboutin’s as I used to. I have a lot of Céline and Givenchy — whether it’s a flat or a sneaker. I have a little bit of everything.”
What is the most expensive pair of shoes you own?
“There were a pair of Louboutins that were a triple platform, and they had crystals all over them. I think they cost like $6,000 at the time.”
What’s your favorite style to rock on date night with your fiancé?
“I’m really like a jean girl. I have so many jeans — whether they’re distressed or whatever — I’m really into denim. So I love it because I feel like you could dress it up or dress it down. A lot of times when we go to dinner, I’ll wear just some jeans with a pair of heels or a cute sneaker and just find a cute shirt to go with it. So I will say denim is usually where I go — the other day, I went out and I wore a body shirt with a pair of jeans.”
How do you like to style yourself during filming for “Basketball Wives”?
“Depends on the scenes that we’re filming. If we’re going to be hiking, then I’m not going to wear my Yeezys because I’m like, ‘These things are not going to get dirty!’ It depends on what’s going on and who I’m with and whether we’re going to be active. Everybody [on the show] doesn’t dress up, so I’ll be like, ‘I ain’t gonna waste this outfit.’ We have other cast members that like dressing up during filming — because that is a [fun part] of what we do. But I’ll wear cornrows and I’ll do Timberlands any day. It depends on how I’m feeling that day and what we’re doing.”
Do you see critiquing other cast members’ style as a part of your role on the show?
“When it came to [criticizing] Royce’s [style] in [Season 1] — I was in a whole other place. But I really love Cristen. We were at a winery in Malibu, and you think, ‘Let’s put hats on and maxi dresses and be super-cute.’ But it was like constructive criticism. So I might [look at someone not dressed well] and be like, ‘That’s interesting.’ I can’t help myself — I grew up in New York, and we’re into fashion. So it’s not coming from a place of thinking I’m better than anybody — I just love fashion, and I’m so into it — that’s where it’s coming from for me.”
Is there a look that you wouldn’t be caught dead in?
“I’m 41 — I feel like there is a lot of ‘thot-ish’ things going on that I try to stay away from. Like super-short shorts [etc.] mainly because of where I’m at in life.”
What are you most excited about for the rest of the season of “Basketball Wives”?
“A lot happened this season. I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily excited about [all of] it because it was definitely one of the hardest seasons for me to film to date just because I am coming [back] onto the show and I changed. I changed my life and sometimes people say and do certain things and expect you to go [back] there. We go to Miami, and that was fun because the show started in Miami. I will say that Jennifer comes back on the show, and people were devastated about our friendship, and we’ll get to see what happens with that. I’m actually looking forward to that because I feel like people will be interested in what happens.”