Janet Jackson’s got a brand new pair of shoes — and custom, no less.
Giuseppe Zanotti will be the designer on record for the pop icon’s upcoming “Unbreakable” tour, designing sneakers done in multiple color ways for Jackson to don onstage. “Janet is a close friend of mine — we have been close for a long time and I have always felt the greatest affection for her,” Zanotti told WWD. “She has always been a very loyal supporter of the brand and product. She talked to me about her upcoming Unbreakable World Tour when we were together in Milan earlier this year, [and] she asked me to consider making her a special shoe for the tour. Of course, I was…very flattered and I immediately started to sketch some ideas out for her.”
The shoe, a high-top sneaker based on one of the brand’s most popular existing styles, will be customized in two exclusive color combinations and new buckle detailing. “Janet will be dancing a lot on stage as well as singing, so I wanted her to be very comfortable and able to move around easily,” Zanotti said. “The shoe has to be light but practical and provide support to her feet.”
Zanotti will additionally be dressing the tour’s backup singers and dancers, marking the first time he has taken on a full tour wardrobe. “We are frequently asked to provide special shoes for celebrities on tour, [but] this is the first time we are the only luxury shoe company involved,” said Zanotti, who has previously provided stage shoes to Beyoncé, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and FKA twigs.
The Unbreakable World Tour comes after an extended period of hiatus for Jackson, who will release her first studio album in seven years this fall. The tour kicks off on August 31 in Vancouver, and will continue through the U.S. well into 2016, with a final date scheduled for March 9, 2016, in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. One person sure to be in the audience? Zanotti himself. “I am a huge fan,” he said. “I have all her albums and I am so excited that her new single “No Sleeep” is already topping the music charts. I have been listening to it in my studio while working on my new collection.”