Steve Madden, Olsens Celebrate Superga Launch

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are the brand’s new creative directors.

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The subterranean level of the Crosby Street Hotel in New York was in bacchanalian splendor on Wednesday night for the American launch of Superga sneakers, with a warmly lit display of Italian comestibles surrounded by flowering vines and potted lemon trees scattered throughout the space. A vertical garden-cum-step-and-repeat proved a mossy green backdrop for the party’s sponsors, Steve Madden and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. The Olsens are the brand’s new creative directors.

“We’re excited, Superga is a great sneaker, and we’re launching it,” Madden said, adjusting his navy baseball cap and surveying the crowd. “Mary-Kate and Ashley are friends of mine, and they wanted [Superga], so I got it for them.”

This story first appeared in the June 1, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The new Superga retail location is directly facing the hotel at 78 Crosby Street, which at the time of the party had a lipstick red 1961 Alfa Romeo convertible parked in front, top down.

The Olsens appeared at the fete from an entrance behind the bar, a little over an hour after the party began. Both wore long, black drapy numbers by The Row and smatterings of jewelry of mixed metals.

Ashley shed a little more light on the genesis of the collaboration. “When we first met with Steve Madden, who we’ve collaborated with for a long, long time, I was wearing my old, beat-up Supergas…” she gestured at her feet, where, sure enough, her white pair were visibly scuffed, “and he said, ‘Oh, I’ve been wanting to buy that company,’ and I said, ‘Well, you know, if you do, please think of us.’ And now our styles for The Row have sold out in a matter of hours, when they first came online, and we’re thrilled. Really, we are.” Surely their fans will be disappointed not to be able to get the luxe styles? Mary-Kate smiled and linked the fingers of her hands together. “You just want to grab all the little baby ones, the little cashmere baby ones. They’re amazing.”

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