We first hooked up with MadeMe lady killer Erin Magee way back in 2008, a year after she had launched her label upon the streets of New York and abroad. We knew she was born and bred in Canada, we also knew she had a massive crush on the Queen of Pop, Madonna. What we didn’t know was that behind all that hustle and flow, Magee was masterminding a dynamic duo pack for Vans. Notching up some hefty promo love from the likes of Kelis, Ni** Sky, Alica Keys and then some, MadeMe is about official as they come. Keeping it gully as a full-time hobby, Erin busts it out working for Supreme five days a week, leaving little time for anything else. So you can understand how honoured we were that she took five out with Sneaker Freaker to give us the lowdown on just how the whole Vans collabo came about, her obsession with Acid House and yes a little Madge talk to boot as well. If Life Is A Mystery, then MadeMe is the full blown fantasy!
Hi Erin… how’s tricks over there in NYC?
New York is great. I love the Fall in NYC. It’s the best time of year.
Tell us about this Vans collaboration and how it all came together?
The Vans x MadeMe collaboration has been such an amazing experience. From start to finish it’s been a total dream! The people at Vans are so great to work with. They sent me an email in July of 2009 and the rest is history!
You’ve called the duo pack the ‘Life Is A Mystery’ collection – obviously with its nods to Madonna… can you tell us more about that?
It’s all very tongue-in-cheek. Yes, I’m a big Madonna fan, but never intended people to spin it the way they did. ‘Life is a Mystery’ is a Madonna lyric, but then all these really big blogs like Perez Hilton and MTV started picking up the shoes as ‘MadeMe and Vans have created a Madonna shoe!’. Whatever the case, it all turned out really well.
You know it! You’ve been making apparel for your own line MadeMe since 2007 and before that helping out at Umbro with Kim Jones and also Supreme, but as a first time sneaker collaboration, how has the whole process differed from garment construction?
This is the first time I’ve made a MadeMe sneaker, however I’ve been involved in making many shoes throughout my career. Since I’ve been involved in the process so many other times, the shoe design was a breeze. The bulk of the work I’ve been doing with Vans is on the marketing side of the collaboration. The actual shoe design was easy compared to planning our massive launch event on October 28 at the HOUSE OF VANS. We’ve also shot four videos for the project. Now, that’s where the real work came in!
For sure. Who at Vans did you work closely with and what did you take away from the entire experience?
I’ve worked with a lot of people at Vans. Shout out to Rian, Erica, Anna, Jared, Katie, and Chris! I feel like you guys are my family now. So many emails and so many phone calls later, et voila – a cute little sneaker collection!
The entire inspiration of the Vans collection as well as MadeMe leans towards this obsession with ‘80s and ‘90s downtown New York culture. As a chick from Canada, just how did this drive you to where you’re at right now?
Canada was so boring when I was growing up (don’t tell my Mom I said that, she’ll kill me!). I’ve always wanted more. It all happened when I started going to parties in Toronto when I was a teenager, then those parties turned to raves, and I was always really into the fashion and music of it all. At that time, all I could think of was next stop, NYC! I always wanted to be downtown NYC because I knew that’s where everything was really going on.
New York can’t be the easiest place to start up a label though. How do you stay one step ahead of the pack?
Oh I don’t know! I just make what I want to wear. It’s easy. If I’m not wearing it, then I’m not making it. That’s the whole premise behind the brand and name MadeMe. I don’t know if that’s a successful business model, it’s just what I want to do with my hobby.
Has it been hard to maintain MadeMe as a sole basis of income for you or have you branched out into other areas to keep afloat?
MadeMe is my hobby. I do it in my spare time, which leaves me with practically none! I work at Supreme five days a week so I don’t depend on MadeMe financially – it’s just my hobby.
Is this why there was no collection for Spring this year?
Yes, I didn’t do a collection last spring. I just wanted to enjoy my life a little. So I took a break.
Hairy muff! The Vans collabo couldn’t have come at a better time, with so many steering clear of sneakers as a whole. Has the game changed that much in NYC? It seems that Vans is continually killing it… why do you think that is?
Sneakers will always have a place in my heart and on my feet! Additionally Vans is such a classic brand with classic styles that you can’t really go wrong.
Your collaboration is instinctively subtle yet still has a bucketload of pizzazz, and really hits that ‘80s rude boy, Boy London, Face Magazine era on the head… are you heavily influenced by the acid house era of UK as well?
YES!! All of the above! You got all my inspirations perfectly. And yes, I’ve always been heavily influenced by the ‘Acid House’ movement. I mean c’mon I was a raver in the ‘90s and I’m not ashamed of it! The culture of that movement was really special. Total freedom to be who you wanted to be. It embraced homosexuality, introduced me to nightlife, fashion, music and having a sense of freedom. The culture of that time allowed me to dress how I wanted, act how I wanted and be who I wanted to be. MadeMe + NI**SKY have collaborated on a series of mixtapes called ‘STRIKE A POSE’ that capture a lot of late ‘80s and early ‘90s house music. You can download them for free at: www.mademeclothing.com
Dope… what about the Vans, where can we cop those?
Right now you can get them at www.mademeclothing.com and on November 1 you can get them on Karmaloop, David Z, Ubiq and Undefeated.
Lastly we gotta ask… have you met Madonna yet?
That’s a secret. Life is a Mystery!