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Kickin' It With Steve Madden, King of Kicks, at the Superga Party

Billy Farrell Agency

Only Steve Madden doesn't consider himself the "king of kicks." I assured him that he is, in fact, that iconic.

The impetus for such an occasion where I would be talking to Steve Madden? Last night, Superga opened their first US store on Crosby Street in NYC. The opening was hosted by creative directors Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, who in addition to their collaborative line of cashmere sneakers with Superga (very cute...and toasty!) are in charge of creative direction at the US branch, while Alexa Chung heads it up in the UK. The twins were busy getting their picture taken while I chatted with Mr. Madden, whose company helped launch Superga in the US. When I approached Steve, he was fumbling with multiple pieces of his cell phone.

Steve: My phone fell apart.

Me: What type of phone is that? It doesn't look like a smart phone.

It's not. It's my dumb phone.

It looks really dumb. What is your favorite part about working with Mary Kate and Ashley?

I love working with Mary Kate and Ashley. It's very challenging. It's not easy, but they know what they want and it's rewarding. They're very talented.

What do you each bring to the table?

I've been making shoes my whole life.

I know—I used to have every pair!

You're sweet. I know how to make a shoe, so they just tell me exactly what they like. I had the same conversation with Lady Gaga that I'm having with you. I was trying to get her to do some work for us. She said, "You're Steve Madden! That's all I wore!" And I was like, "Really?"

Of course! You don't think of yourself as an icon?

No. I actually don't. Maybe in some insecure moment I might puff out my chest, but nah not really. I worked in a shoe store many years ago, so that's what I always did.

Who would you most like to collaborate with next?

I'd like to work with Damien Hirst. Do you have his number?

I'm a good reporter, so I could probably find it for you.

Oh look, you wore your Supergas!

Yeah, I lost the laces though, so it looks like I just got out of prison.

Did you know I was in prison?

I did know that. I'm glad you got out, man.

Steve Madden is a fun guy. And you know what? I'm going to find Damien Hirst's phone number for him.

The next time you're in SoHo, check out the store on Crosby Street. It's designed by Kari Sigerson, founder of Sigerson Morrison, to look like a library combined with a gallery space. I'm planning to pick up a pair of exotic skin Supergas or perhaps a cashmere pair from The Row X Superga. Or maybe just another pair of the plain white?

Superga, 78 Crosy Street, NY, 212-625-8290

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