Steve Madden has a new design partner he’s taken under his wing: model Winnie Harlow. The two have teamed up to create a fall ’19 collection, which is officially available today.
“She’s such a star,” Madden told FN. “She’s so beautiful. And all the young people love how her inner beauty just shows up. She doesn’t look like everyone else. I don’t have a problem taking second billing.” He added, “Everything has something to do with her past — even the naming of the shoes, it had meaning to her.”
For Harlow, who has starred in many campaigns for brands such as Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Diesel, Mac, Saks Fith Avenue and more, it comes as a surprise that this collaboration marks her first foray in design.
She said, “It was difficult at times because this is new to me. You need to have vision for things like this. It was difficult to look at a design and know that there was something that I wanted to change but not know exactly what that was. It was fun because Steve has the background in all that I wasn’t knowledgeable in. Everything that I wanted, we achieved. It was smooth for my first collaboration ever.”
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The Winnie Harlow x Steve Madden capsule collection consists of on-trend silhouettes and styles that truly represent Harlow, including slouched, oversize over-the-knee boots, Western and military-inspired booties, pumps, strappy stiletto sandals, as well as lug sole and high-top sneakers.
One particular look, the Lisalove croc bootie, was named after Harlow’s mother, Lisa. This standout style was inspired by a Steve Madden boot Harlow wore growing up.
“I wanted to be happy to wear these shoes,” she said. “There are a lot of shoes I have to wear for events or whatever the case is that don’t really speak to me. If I was going to have my name on this collection, I wanted each pair to speak to me. Everything I created really says Winnie Harlow.”
Retailing for $89.95 to $159.95, the capsule’s accessibility was of major importance to Harlow, too.
She said, “Being able to have a collection that represents me and is something I’d really wear and having it be accessible to my fans [was key]. I want them to feel included in my life.”
So far, celebrity friends Bebe Rexha, Kim Kardashian and Ava Duvernay have been spotted in her shoes.
The fall collection will be sold online and in stores at Steve Madden as well exclusively at Nordstrom through Nov. 1. In addition, there will be one exclusive shoe made for the retailer’s New York store opening next month. Harlow and Steve Madden will release another capsule for spring ’20.
Steven Madden Ltd. has had a busy summer. In addition to its purchase of sneaker startup Greats Brands Inc., in August, the New York-based footwear firm announced it snapped up women’s apparel label BB Dakota. Madden has been making big deals in the past few years, adding Dolce Vita, Blondo and Schwartz & Benjamin to its growing portfolio. Its sales numbers continue to impress as well. For Q2, the Long Island City, N.Y.-based firm reported revenues of $445 million — a 12% gain over the year-ago period.
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