Rumors of a shoe collaboration between breakout rap superstar Cardi B and fashion footwear mogul Steve Madden have been making the rounds since late September, when hip-hop producer Irv Gotti teased the partnership on social media.
“Y’all ready for this Collabo??” the Murder Inc. founder wrote on Instagram under a photo of Madden and Cardi B at lunch. “Steve Madden and Cardi B!! Cardi’s Shoes!! Powered by Visionary Ideas.”
Up until now, the pair has been mum on whether such a deal is truly in the works. But when FN caught up with Steve Madden — who will take the stage this month at the Footwear News Achievement Awards to receive the Company of the Year honor — the designer and creative chief confirmed that the duo is in talks.
“We like Cardi — she’s great. We’re talking to Cardi — we’re talking to some other people, too, but we like Cardi a lot,” Madden said.
The designer, who has had a penchant for hip-hop collaborations — previously launching lines with Ja Rule and Iggy Azalea — added: “The thing about Cardi that’s interesting is that she’s kind of like an entrepreneur, and I admire what’s she’s done. I don’t know yet if [the deal] is going to happen, but we’re friends.”
Bronx-born Cardi B may have sung the praises of luxury footwear label Christian Louboutin in her smash hit “Bodak Yellow,” but a collaboration with Steve Madden has the potential to reap major dividends for the star.
Amid retail industrywide sluggishness, Steve Madden’s eponymous company has been on a major winning streak, posting sales of $1.4 billion in 2016 and revenues of $441 million in the most recent quarter alone.
The company also owns popular brands such as Dolce Vita, Betsey Johnson, Brian Atwood and recently acquired 94-year-old footwear firm Schwartz & Benjamin.