Insider: Steve Madden’s Music… Collective Chimes In…

Music Maker
At the Steve Madden Music event earlier this month, which featured an intimate performance by up-and-coming artist Jessie James at the Steven store on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the shoe mogul wanted to chat about his love of music.

“I listen to music more today than I did when I was a kid,” he told FN. “I love music.” So who’s in the play list on Madden’s iPod and on Pandora.com? “I’m listening to a lot of Sam Cook, Lady Gaga, Squeeze, Jason Mraz, Jimmy Cliff … I’m all over the place,” he said.

For her part James, whose album dropped on Tuesday, insisted she only recently became a shoe lover. “I never was a shoe girl until now. I was never into fashion. I wore sweatpants to high school,” she said. Now the pop/southern rock singer loves to wear Steve Madden — thanks to a couple of free pairs. “I love the boots and platforms.”

As for the next Steve Madden Music event, Madden is trying to bring a longtime favorite on board: “Susanna Hoffs. I don’t know where she is, but we have to get Susanna.”

Collective Ringing
Executives from Collective Brands Inc. visited the New York Stock Exchange last Friday and Chairman and CEO Matthew Rubel rang the starting bell. The visit commemorated the company’s second anniversary as such and the acquisition of The Stride Rite Corporation, also two years ago this month.

Practical Collectors
Turns out, even sneakerheads are getting more practical with their spending these days. While there’s still an enthusiastic market for all things limited, Lacoste reps told Insider, the key now is wearability.

“If the product is good enough and it’s wearable, then there is a market for it, but the market has been saturated with collaborations and limited editions. Now, it needs to be spot on,” Mark Godwin, stealth category manager for Lacoste, told Insider, while plugging the second edition of the Lacoste x Atmos design collaboration, which drops in Sportie LA and Boston-based Bodega next month.

The sneaker/boat shoe hybrid was designed in collaboration with Japan-based retailer Atmos, which had the worldwide exclusive on the shoe in July. The mid-top shoe features elements of a deck shoe with a vulcanized sole and comes in electric blue, grass green and black.

“Tokyo is still a place where trends are made and spread throughout the rest of the world,” Godwin said. “We’re doing fewer of these projects, but the ones we’re doing are very specific to what we’re trying to achieve. In this case, it’s something that really helps us in the Asian market.” Godwin said he’s also working on an upcoming collaboration with New York-based women’s streetwear firm Married to the Mob, slated for a fall release.

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