Steve Madden’s latest campaign is taking footwear fans deeper into his universe — literally. The designer’s new Steve Maddenverse promos create an immersive experience led by stylish stars, including Normani.
“Steve Madden has been such a huge presence and force in fashion throughout my childhood, so it was an easy ‘yes’ when asked to be part of this,” said Normani. The new campaign features the MTV VMA-winning singer, as well as Jordan Alexander, Sydney Sweeney, Nessa Barrett and Justine Skye. They are reimagined as Madden’s infamous “Big Head Girls,” one of the first digitally altered campaigns from the late ’90s.
“What’s not to love about this crew? They are all incredible at what they do, and it was a perfect group to reinvent that chapter of Steve Madden,” said Madden. “There is a big ’90s style resurgence happening right now. You will notice a lot of ’90s styles in our apparel and footwear, so [I] thought it would be a fun synergy.”
Similarly to those ads, which featured models with oversize heads posing in the designer’s latest styles, the artists have been scanned into avatars with large heads to share Madden’s fall designs.
“The whole process has been fascinating, from the scans to creating my very own virtual avatar, existing in a universe created by me, is wild,” said Normani on creating her Maddenverse avatar. “The innovation behind this campaign is otherworldly, to say the least.”
The Maddenverse, which can now be viewed online, features a digital replica of Normani and a link to discover her staple pieces from the collection. The singer’s avatar wears Madden’s Cloak-R boots, a pointed-toe style with puffer-like uppers covered in rhinestones, as well as a ribbed cutout sweater and skirt with rhinestone stripes. The star’s selections also include various black, silver and pink pointed-toe pumps, sandals and boots covered in crystals, spikes and embossments.
“‘Nineties,’ ‘Playful,’ [and] ‘Feminine’ were some of the words I used to describe my avatar and the world she’s in,” said Normani. “The crystal boots my avatar is wearing perfectly fits that description.”
The “Big Head Girls” originally ran from 1997 to 2005. Whether their revival could lead to a long-term resurgence in the 2020s is unclear — though Madden didn’t rule it out for the future. “You never know what could happen,” the footwear designer said. “Never say never.”
The full Maddenverse campaign and collection are now on Steve Madden’s website.