Steve Madden Taps Olsens for Superga

NEW YORK — Steve Madden is determined to make Superga a major stateside player, and he’s turning to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen for help.

Madden has tapped the design duo — with whom he already partners on the Elizabeth & James and Olsenboye shoe lines — as the new creative directors of Superga North America. Madden is now the exclusive licensee for the 100-year-old brand here, after striking a deal with Superga’s Italian parent, BasicNet SpA.

“The Olsens are tastemakers, and people pay attention to what they’re thinking and what they’re wearing,” Madden told Footwear News last week.

In their new roles, the pair will oversee all creative and marketing initiatives, as well as have oversight for distribution. The line is targeted to upscale department stores and high-end speciality boutiques.

“We hope to introduce a fresh perspective to this iconic collection, while honoring Superga’s legacy of timeless design,” Ashley Olsen said in a statement.

For spring ’12, the partnership will launch a co-branded initiative between Superga and The Row, the apparel and accessories brand created by the Olsens.

“The Row for Superga is a unique opportunity to collaborate with a brand that shares The Row’s dedication to classic design, effortless luxury and exceptional quality,” Mary-Kate Olsen said in a statement.

Madden told FN the pair has already been involved in shaping the new collection. “We really dug into the archives, and Mary-Kate and Ashley picked out these great fabrics,” the executive said, adding that he had been a fan of the Superga brand since first visiting Europe in the 1980s.

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