She may be known for her moves on 11 seasons of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” but Karina Smirnoff is also doing some fancy footwork in another area. The ballroom champion has collaborated with Bearpaw on the KS Collection of boots and will release her third KS style at retail in July. So how did these two get together? The dancer-turned-designer often wore Bearpaw shoes during behind-the-scenes segments of the show, and the top brass at Bearpaw took notice. “They sent me a couple of pairs,” said Smirnoff, “and we developed a relationship and started working together.” With more Bearpaw boots hitting for spring ’13, Smirnoff stays busy between seasons, when she also runs her year-old dance studio in Los Angeles and promotes her DanceFit exercise program at resorts across the country. The mover and shaker squeezed in a few minutes recently to give Footwear News the lowdown on presents, pets and why romance novels trump TV.
Guiltiest pleasure: “Chocolate, but it has to be dark chocolate.”
Most-beloved pets: “I have a rescued 3-year-old pitbull, Randy, named after [former MMA fighter] Randy Couture, and he is the cutest, sweetest dog. I had his nephew, Tyson, before that. But he got hit by a car and my whole family cried for a year. When we go to church, we still light candles for Tyson.”
Latest obsession: “Romance novels. I never read them before because I thought they were cheesy, but then I downloaded ‘Waiting for Nick’ to my Nook, and it was so good. It was graphic! ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette’ have nothing on this.”
Dream vacation: “A trip to India. It has such a deep and interesting culture.”
Best gift to receive: “You can’t go wrong with shoes or earrings.”
Favorite music: “I love Broadway [tunes] and Frank Sinatra, but I also love Lil Wayne and Drake.”