Steve Madden Owns Betsey Johnson, Employs Katy Perry
Steve Madden is one generous, wealthy, quirky dude. One day he’s saving a seasoned brand from bankruptcy, the next he’s turning a famous young singer into a fashion designer.
Last night the news broke that Madden, who last month took over the $48 million dollar debt Betsey Johnson‘s company was carrying, is now in control of even more of of that company. Madden has secured licensing deals with Betsey Johnson LLC that will allow him to produce its clothing and operate its boutiques. Oh, and he now owns all of the company’s intellectual property.
But Madden insists that he’s not trying to take anything away from Betsey herself — this is more about saving a brand than taking over a business:
“Betsey is my partner,” Madden told WWD. “She has nothing to worry about and I will protect her.…She is not on the hook for anything. I am honored to be partners with her. That’s the truth.”
Madden was a little tigher-lipped about rumors that he wants to give Katy Perry a clothing line of her own. Page Six reported this morning that Madden is pursuing a partnership with the singer similar to to Sarah Jessica Parker‘s role at Halston Heritage. At that company, Parker took on the role of creative adviser, helping the brand update its archival pieces for a contemporary market. Madden has also collaborated with Zac Posen on his Z Spoke line, and with Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen on their Olsenboye line of shoes.
We don’t know whether Perry will be making only shoes — or if she might even get to work with Betsey Johnson on clothes — because both Madden’s reps and Perry’s handlers aren’t saying anything at the moment.
We are unreservedly excited that Betsey Johnson will continue as a label — and hopefully it’ll be able to get out of debt soon. As for Katy Perry’s fashion venture, well, we’ll wait to see if it even exists before we make any judgments.