Shoe giant Steve Madden will visit Fashion Place Mall in Murray this Saturday during his first visit to Utah. Earlier in the week, the New York designer talked to The Tribune by phone about his advice for aspiring designers, his Sundance plans and why you won’t find him on the slopes this weekend.
You’ve been on the road lately. Are you making other stops on your way out here?
Steve Madden at Nordstrom
Julissa Bermudez from Style Network show “Empire Girls” is the host of a Steve Madden event.
Where » Nordstrom at Fashion Place Mall, 6191 S. State St., Murray
When » Saturday, Jan. 18, 2-3:30 p.m.
Cost » Free
More info » Shoppers will have the chance to win a pair of Steve Madden shoes and hear music from a surprise DJ. Event coordinators promise a gift to customers buying a Steve Madden product on the day of the event. People who make such a purchase before Jan. 18 will be VIPs.
I’ve never been to Utah. I’ve always wanted to go. It sounds so interesting. It’s a great shoe town. There’s always a good fashion coming from there. People from Salt Lake are always so fashionable. I never know why that is. I see, in my shoe exhibitions, a smart woman will walk in, and they’re either from Providence, R.I., or Salt Lake City.
Any plans for Sundance?
I’m looking forward to seeing — I have it written down — "A Most Wanted Man," with Philip Seymour Hoffman. My very good friend Kenneth Cole is getting me into everything I want, so I’m very excited.
You’re a shoe icon. How do you manage to stay out front of current styles year after year?
It’s a lot of torture. [Laughs.] We love what we do. My team and I, we work hard and we try to make shoes that sell. We try to stay current as best we can. And I get a kick out of seeing my shoes on the feet. I want to keep that up.
What’s your advice for young people who want to work in fashion?
My advice is to go to work in the store, ’cause that’s where you learn the business: any store where you can learn with the customer one-to-one. That’s the best training. That’s how I started, and that’s what you want to do if you want to really learn. It’s just learning what women want — the body language, what they want, what they like in a shoe. There are little things that I picked up that I still use today, even though it was 25 years ago. Jeez. It’s gone fast. I’m 56, so I’ve been around.
Which footwear trends can we expect this spring?
We’re going to make lots of platform sandals again, lots of city sandals and some boots. A lot of oxfords. It’s going to be an exciting spring.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen design a few of your brands. What’s it like working with them?
Great. They’re awesome, very talented, know what they want, very cool. They really have a point of view and they’re easy to work with. Very hard-working and not at all what they seem to be: They’re industrious and they challenge us.
Do you plan to hit the slopes while you’re here?
No, no, no, I’m not a skier. I’m a couch potato. I do my skiing with my remote control.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.