Katy Perry reveals the thrift-shop find that inspired her shoe empire

ABC/Eric McCandless

In addition to her Las Vegas residency, PLAY, her work on American Idol and — oh yeah — her music career, Katy Perry is also the CEO of Katy Perry Collections, her footwear line. But unlike some artists who go into fashion as an afterthought, Katy says she’s been dreaming of shoes since before she was famous — and can trace the inspiration for Katy Perry Collections to one particular pair.

In the new cover story for Footwear News, Katy says, “When I got to LA, I went to this club every Thursday night called Star Shoes. In the window, there were all of these gorgeous shoes from the ’40s and memorabilia-type shoes.” When she hit that club, she would wear a thrift-store find: a pair of dalmatian-print flats with bendable ears, whiskers and a tongue that flopped over the toe.

“I would wear these shoes everywhere around LA, and the amount of people who would stop me was by the hundreds,” Katy recalls. “That is what solidified the dream of having my own shoe company.”

Katy, who recently purchased the shoe brand outright from her former partners, says her goal for the brand is to “bring it back to its true soul, which has a little bit more personality, a little more kitsch.”

Speaking of kitsch, Katy’s famous for her over-the-top fashions, dressing like a chandelier at the 2019 Met Gala and as a cheeseburger for the after-party. Designer Tom Ford took a shot at her ahead of this year’s Gala, but Katy made headlines in a demure black-and-white Oscar de la Renta gown.

“I think it was a step in the right direction and it kept people guessing,” she says. “It’s about keeping people on the edge of their seats and surprising them.”

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