Widely known for designing women’s shoes with attitude, Steve Madden’s successful combination of on-trend styling and great price points have made his footwear a favorite of young women across the country. Although the fashion-forward designer was in town for a meet-and-greet at his Park Meadows Mall store this past weekend, 5280 fashion editor Georgia Alexia Benjou caught up with Madden over e-mail to chat about spring and fall shoe trends.

5280: The Steve Madden shoe collection is pretty extensive—how do you go about deciding what trends are important for the season?

Steve Madden: I get my ideas for new collections from all over: places I’ve traveled, people I know, or just ones who inspire me. The streets of New York City have always been my biggest source of inspiration—there’s nowhere else quite like it. Also, a lot of street fashion makes it into our collection every season, keeping us ahead of the trends.

5280: After reviewing the Steve Madden website, I noticed that several shoe styles fit into more than one trend category; with that in mind, how would you describe your spring 2010 collection for our readers? Is there an overriding theme?

SM: Much of our spring and summer collections have the same aesthetic—everything is laid-back, fresh, and flirty. With many nudes and blush tones, this is the season to embrace femininity. Everything we do has a little rock and roll in it, so you’ll see studs, metallics, and chains in the mix too.

5280: What are your must-have shoe styles for spring/summer for women and men?

SM: I couldn’t pick favorites, it just wouldn’t be right! There is a lot of tribal influence in much of the collection right now, and I am really into that. The ethnic fabrics and embellished detail really spice things up for summer.

5280: Let’s talk about fall 2010. Tell us about your men’s and women’s shoe collections.

SM: People are definitely going to be taking more risks and be more daring with what they wear. I can’t reveal too much, but expect to see a lot of statement pieces like over-the-knee boots.

5280: With trends overlapping seasons so much these days, are there looks that both men and women should invest in today that will carry into next season?

SM: I always think a classic black pump is essential for any woman’s wardrobe. It’s like the little black dress of the shoe world.