Steve Madden’s New Lead Act: Iggy Azalea

In case you missed it, Iggy Azalea caused some Twitter controversy last week, after posting a rant about the unveiled images from her shoot with Steve Madden. She later took to Instagram and clarified any confusion, stating that the complaints were in fact about another set of images. Prior to the social media blitz, FN spoke to Azalea and Madden for the inside scoop on their collaboration …

Insider Opener:

Steve Madden is feeling “fancy.”

The brand unveils its second collection with singer Iggy Azalea this month at FN Platform for fall ’15. Meanwhile, the collaboration’s spring collection of 13 styles — which hit Steve Madden stores and the website last Friday — will arrive at Macy’s, Dillards and other independents in mid-February.

“We are so like-minded. The girls who listen to Iggy wear Steve Madden; she talks to my customers,” said Madden. “She’s very intelligent, creative — and a kook, like me,” added the brand’s founder.

Azalea told FN that she was the driving force behind the partnership. “It’s a brand that young women actually wear. I kind of hassled him for a while,” joked the Australia-born rapper, referring to
the first time she and Madden met, when the star performed at the Steve Madden Music Series last May in New York.

The spring collection features 1990s-inspired looks, including neoprene sport sandals, metallic slides and chunky platforms.

“[My style] is very colorful, quirky and fun, and that’s what I wanted in the shoes,” said Azalea. “Something that your boyfriend might hate, but your girlfriends would love. There’s something carefree in that.”

Azalea added that these shoes will create new options for her on-stage attire — currently, she has all of her footwear for performances custom-made. “I’m very comfortable and always in an ankle boot,” she added.

Meanwhile, Madden is already brainstorming about his next big “get” in the music world. “Morgan Trainer and Rita Ora are great,” he said. “I would love to work with them.”

The shoe man inked his first musical collaboration in 2013, when the brand partnered with artist Keyshia Cole. Madden also tapped two bloggers for capsule collections, first collaborating with The Blonde Salad blogger Chiara Ferragni in late 2013. Then, for fall 2014, he worked with Shea Marie, the Los Angeles-based designer behind Peace Love Shea.

Iggy Azalea Steve Madden Collaboration
Last summer with Iggy Azalea
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

And the Steve Madden Music Series — which has featured Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Paloma Faith, among others — will be back later this year with New Zealand duo Broods and Canadian songwriter Grimes on deck.

Plus, the company is forging ahead with several new brand additions. Just last week, Steve Madden announced the acquisition of Blondo, a brand  that makes waterproof leather boots, from Regence Footwear Inc. and 3074153 Canada Inc. The heritage label, founded more than 100 years ago, reported trailing 12-month net sales of $25 million as of Nov. 30.

Madden’s acquisition spree already includes Dolce Vita, which was acquired last August for $60.3 million, and Brian Atwood, which was purchased from The Jones Group in March 2014.

“We’re trying to help them be more profitable and maximize what they’re already doing,” Madden said.

For Brian Atwood, the company is considering expanding the line and lowering some of the retail prices, Madden said.

Overall, the founder anticipates a strong performance in 2015. “It’s going to be a fantastic year — I’m excited about it,” he said.

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