To celebrate the launch of Superga’s collaboration with Spanish-American artist Domingo Zapata, the brand’s owner, Steve Madden, and Zapata hosted a party at the Mercer Hotel in NYC last night. Attendees — including fashion blogger Christina Caradona and “Flesh and Bone” actress Emily Tyra, among others – were given a pair of the brand’s shoes to customize at various spin-art stations.
Before the event, Madden and Zapata spoke with Footwear News about how they met, what makes Zapata’s art special, and their sources of inspiration.
You’ve raved about Domingo Zapata’s art, saying he’s the most exciting artist in America today. What makes him so exciting? How many pieces of his do you have?
SM: I love his art, I’m a big fan. I’m not very analytical about it. It makes me happy to look at it. I have several pieces. In fact, I like it so much I have it in some of my offices and showrooms, so people can work around it and make them happy. I have about 10 of his pieces, I think.
How did you meet?
SM: We have the same doctor. We both had a cold — we met at the doctor’s office.
Will you be collaborating with Domingo again in the future?
SM: Life is like a huge collaboration, you know. We’re going to do these sneakers, and I’m going to continue to collect his art, and we’ll see.
What inspires you? Are there other artists you get inspiration from?
DZ: My inspiration comes from things I love, things I’m passionate about and things that happen to me on a daily basis. Sometimes I’m eating and get inspired. Do you know why [Salvador] Dali painted the melted clocks? He was waiting for a friend in Paris and his friend was late and he had a plate of Brie cheese and it was really hot in Paris and the cheese started to melt. He associated time with melted cheese.
What it like translating your art to a medium like shoes? Was it difficult, or did you find it an easy medium to work with?
DZ: It was a very organic process. I was working with the team Steve put together, and it was great. They are very professional, and they understood my work very well and helped me through the process. It was an amazing journey and a lot of fun.
Do you have a particular favorite in this collection?
DZ: I love all of them, they’re like my little kids, but I love the pandas and the flowers one. I have one of the models that were made in the beginning, and I wore them all summer.
SM: Some of the velvets I really like — there’s so many I like. I can’t say, you really have to go through them all. These are works of art. They’re going to talk about this in 25 years, they’re going to talk about this when we’re gone — they’ll be worth a lot of money.