If the circumstance ever presented itself, anyone could pick Katy Perry out of a lineup. She of the over-the-top rainbow wardrobe is iconic for being uniquely loud and vibrant—even if it used to cost her a spot on some best-dressed lists. “For a long time I’ve been a bit of a parody of fashion,” says Perry, adding proudly, “but I’ve never been in a clique.”
Now the industry is coming around to her point of view: “There’s not a whole lot of blending in anymore,” she says. “I’m glad that fashion is getting a little bit more lighthearted.” She’s happy to help in that department with her new line, Katy Perry Footwear, a collection of 40 shoe styles ranging from platform heels to sneakers and shower slides. We teased the news last year, and now we can officially offer an exclusive look at the collection you’ll be shopping up. The best part? They won’t break the bank—prices range from $59 to $299.
Perry is calling the creative shots on the endeavor—so we caught up with the megastar ahead of the launch next month to find out how she likes being the boss.
GLAMOUR: Why start with shoes instead of clothes?
Katy Perry: It’s been a longtime dream of mine. I wanted to take it seriously and didn’t just want to slap my name on something—I really wanted to get it right. We’ll go to the next thing when the shoes themselves are embraced, not just because Katy Perry, the musical artist, does shoes but because they stand on their own.
GLAMOUR: How do you begin the process of creating a collection like this? It’s so refreshing, BTW, that you don’t have to earn a pop star’s salary to buy them.
KP: I wanted the collection to be more of a feminine, fun personality, like Charlotte Olympia and Sophia Webster, but at a lower price point so it could be easily accessible. Now I understand why shoes are extremely expensive to make—from conceptualizing original heels, to having a small detail or a fabric, or the way it’s carved. So we had to figure that out first.
GLAMOUR: The collection is divided into themes. Where did that idea come from?
KP: Every f-cking day has a holiday to it, like National Kitten Day or National Doughnut Day. So why can’t my shoes have a theme? There’s a star and moon group called SOLEstial. Havana Good Time came from a trip I took to Cuba with all my girlfriends and has two styles with a cigar heel. And we have Pump Up the Jam, which is a bit nineties-based.
GLAMOUR: Which shoe is your favorite?
KP: There’s one that’s white with different-colored stars [bottom right]; it’s like a little bit of a bootie. I love.
GLAMOUR: Do you remember your first pair of shoes?
KP: Oh, yes. My first heel, in sixth grade, was a shiny blue patent Chinese Laundry with a buckle in the front. It looked kind of like a Pilgrim-type shoe, with, like, a chunky heel. I can remember what the box smelled like—it’s all coming back to me! I got them for Christmas along with a fake-leopard jacket that I wore. I think I wasn’t allowed to wear them to my private Christian school.
GLAMOUR: Who is your dream customer?
KP: Any girl who wants to have a little exclamation mark at her feet. You can make it a whole look, or you can just accessorize [a basic outfit] with that personality piece. That’s what’s so great about shoes, you know? And I think that people who like my music will like the collection.…You can always be playful and have that childlike enthusiasm. That’s what keeps you really young. Also, Björk, Rihanna, and Chloë Sevigny kind of make up how I like to dress: We all like architectural things, we all like vintage things, and we all kind of like punk and “loud.”
GLAMOUR: These shoes do seem to reflect your point of view. What does authenticity mean to you?
KP: I’ve always tried to be as transparent as I can with my audience so that we can all kind of be in this together. Some of the things that I did when I first started I wouldn’t do now because I’ve grown, I’ve learned. In the beginning [people tried] to put me in a box, but over time my story is really telling itself, and I’m proud of that. I come from this extremely sheltered [place]. I so love my parents, but I had to do a lot of work to change my viewpoints and to be open and to rewrite my story. You know, I’ve done the work…so I try and not bullshit myself.And I think my authenticity is seeping through everything.