In a cover shoot and exclusive interview, Katy Perry talks to FN about her buying her footwear brand, taking more creative risks and how her music and fashion legacy is taking shape.
PH๏τographer: Camraface. Style Director: Shannon Adducci. Stylist: Tatiana Waterford. Hair: Jesus Guerrero. Makeup: Michael Anthony. Nails: Shigeko Taylor. Prop styling: James Lear. Styling ᴀssistant: Emilia Fishburn. SH๏τ at PMC Studios, Los Angeles.
Perry with a pair of shell heels from her spring ’22 collection, which relaunched her footwear brand as its sole owner.
KATY PERRY COLLECTIONS Scallop Shell heel. GANNI dress. NATIA X LAKO earrings.
“When you’re dealing with other people’s money you have to keep a set of rules in mind because it’s a business, but when you’re taking all of the risk, you don’t have to be responsible for everyone else,” says Perry of buying the entirety of her footwear brand “That’s great, too, because when you win, you win really big. When it doesn’t work, you’re the only one that has to let yourself down. It’s a pivotal moment to roll the dice.”
KATY PERRY COLLECTIONS Rizzo sneakers. STINE GOYA color blocked top and pants. SUNNEI earrings.
“I wanted to take it somewhat seriously,” says Perry of her recent Met Gala appearance, where she wore a custom Oscar de la Renta gown. “I wanted to be more modern, to almost look like the underpinnings of the era, as if you took one of those dresses and X-rayed it. I think it was a step in the right direction and it kept people guessing. It’s about keeping people on the edge of their seats and surprising them.”
ACNE STUDIOS mini dress and sweater. KARO KARU earrings. KATY PERRY COLLECTIONS Summer Ballet flat. Stylist’s own socks.
“I decided once you show up as a cheeseburger to the Met and conquer the theme of ‘camp,’ you can do anything! I feel like that is peak,” says the star of her past fashion choices. “We all know that women are not just one thing. That goes for me with my fashion personality. I’ve taken a satirical approach to fashion. I’ve always had fun with it, I’ve never taken it too seriously.”
OSMAN YOUSEFZADA top and crocheted skirt. KARO KARU earrings. KATY PERRY COLLECTIONS Tooliped Bows floral heeled mules.
“When I got to L.A., I went to this club every Thursday night called Star Shoes,” Perry recalls. “In the window, there were all of these gorgeous shoes from the ’40s and memorabilia-type shoes.” That’s where she would sport her favorite pair of flats (a thrift store find) done in a Dalmatian print with bendable ears, whiskers and a tongue flapping over the pointed toe — which would ultimately inspire the entirety of Katy Perry Collections. “I would wear these shoes everywhere around L.A., and the amount of people who would stop me was by the hundreds. That is what solidified the dream of having my own shoe company.”
“We would create knows that keeping her price points affordable all of these amazing, insane shoes and of course some of them were unrealistic because of the costs and the minimums. But it doesn’t mean that they weren’t good ideas,” she says.
“Enough time has pᴀssed where people are telling stories of that time,” says Perry of her early success in the 2010s. ”Once I got onto the scene in 2008, it was basically 10 years of just going, going, going and putting out tons of music and things were bursting. It’s nice to be able to be a part of that time and to keep putting out music in such a popular way. I am so grateful for all of it — the peaks, the valleys, the ups, the downs, all of it is a blessing.”
“When I had my child, I thought to myself, what is the world going to look like when she is 35? Will she look at me and ask, ‘Mom, did you do your best to leave me and my generation something liveable?’ I have a personal responsibility, and in general we all have that responsibility. Everyone loves to argue in politics. But we might need to first solve the fundamental crisis that is going on, which is the environment. There is no other subject that is more important,” says Perry of tackling sustainability in her brand.
“The strongest cause is the one that is the most relatable. When you try to do corporate virtue signaling, people are like, eh, yeah right,” she says. “I want to buy a great product, and if they have a great cause that they are contributing to, then I feel even better.”
“I want to be an option for personality shoes at a great price point,” says Perry. “When you want to try something, you’re not going to want to break the bank. I understood that my fans couldn’t always afford a $450 to $750 shoe.”