Katy Perry launched her very first shoe line in partnership with Global Brands Group on Thursday (Feb.16), and the dynamic, colorful, and wide-ranging collection features 40 different shoe styles from platform heels to sneakers retailing from $59 to $299 a pair.
“It’s long been a creative goal of mine to be a real contributor to the fashion space,” Perry said in a press release. “I’m extremely proud of this debut collection as we worked hard to figure out how to make fashion dreams reality, and to hopefully be the exclamation mark to your outfit or the conversation starter to your day.”
The pop star’s debut collection is, above all, an adventurous dip into her personal style. Perry and her longtime friend, stylist, and now shoe line Creative Director Johnny Wujek collaborated on every bold design. “Ever since we’ve been working together [about ten years ago], we’ve been on the same creative vibe of thinking outside the box in styling and costuming,” Wujek tells Billboard of the footwear line. “She was like, ‘I want to hire you as Creative Director,’ and it’s all happened pretty fast with this first collection.”
The debut collection’s themes are fun – there’s SOLEstial with metallics and space-oriented imager, Pump Up The Jam’s ’90’s references and golden embellishments, and HAVANA Good Time’s block colors and tropical touches. “I love a good pun,” Wujek admits. The line even features shout outs to badass women like Hillary Clinton’s “Hillary” pump with lucite and gold-starred heels.
Billboard spoke with Wujek on his role as the Creative Director of Katy Perry’s shoe line and their artistic chemistry.
As Katy’s Creative Director, have you been super hands-on in the process?
We have a WhatsApp chat that we call Sole Sisters where we just share ideas, images and references. We learned in our first meeting that every season is based on three themes. Global Brand and I work together dealing with trend forecasting and base the concepts off that – we come up with three themes and build different styles and designs to pitch to Katy.
Where does the inspiration for these themes come from?
It’s a collaboration between Global Brand’s trend forecast, Katy, and I. The thing about Katy is that she doesn’t even care about the trend report – she is the trend report. Katy’s style and fashion evolves every day. From the minute I started working with her to now, it’s so different and more sophisticated. There are still odes to the kitsch – we love funny and clever, but [her tastes] are still chic and wearable.
How would you describe the Katy Perry shoe line?
Super eye-catching, fun, and quirky. Katy’s always been one to stand out. I lucked out when I met her because my creative mind works just like hers, so we get to push the boundaries together. She’s just open to being adventurous and silly and making people smile. The [shoe line] is about being light. It’s about setting our own trends and standing out, but also finding the balance between those fun, silly pieces and products that are actually realistic [for the market].
Which pair from the first collection is your favorite, if you had to choose?
HAVANA Good Time is fun for me, that’s probably my favorite theme. The cigar heel, the 57 Chevy, all that stuff.
How does your perspective as a celebrity stylist contribute to the line’s design?
As a stylist, I see the shoes that are in demand, what people wear, what they like. I’ve strapped so many shoes on my clients and keep tabs on the way they fit, how it hits their foot, the comfortableness, just all these elements. At fittings, I’m on my hands and knees seeing how the show wears. I literally just pay attention. There’s been times where Katy’s been like, “Hell no. These are so uncomfortable, I’m not wearing these.” So, I think knowing the intricate details of the build of a shoe is really important.