On a sunny, Golden Coast afternoon, SM Mag caught up with IT-photographer Sandy Kim and fashion’s sweetheart Niki Takesh. The native West Coast babes and I reminisced about everyone’s favorite decade… the nineties of course! As we walked down memory lane, we saluted the shakers and tastemakers of a time when youth culture ruled the world. Our mutual obsession for a single brand, iconic as Marky Mark’s hot bod, served as a true testament to the power of Steve Madden shoes. The influential mark Steve Madden left on our adolescent hearts reminded us that shoes are not only personal records of our lives, but a reflection of social history. Hands down, Sandy and Niki are still the coolest girls on the playground and I definitely wouldn’t mind taking a walk in their shoes.
Sandy, how did you guys meet?
Sandy Kim: I don’t remember.
Niki Takesh: We met through Brooke Candy back in the day. I knew you’d forget because you were turnt that night.
Niki, what’s your favorite part about life on the West Coast?
Niki Takesh: I love listening to music in my car, the sick houses, the weather.
Sandy, you’re recently trying out a bicoastal lifestyle … East coast vs. West coast?
Sandy Kim: All coasts. Best of both worlds is a dream. What do you like most about NY and LA?
Sandy Kim: Summertime in New York. I flee to LA for sunshine as winter approaches. I chase the sunshine.
Niki, what do you love most about New York?
Niki Takesh: I love that it’s like a giant outdoor mall- you can walk 2 blocks and go to 10 stores. Perfect for the shopping addict in me. You don’t have to go to a mall.
Sandy Kim: How do you become a shopping addict? I’m the opposite- I just wear what’s given to me.
Sandy, describe your wardrobe.
Sandy Kim: I usually pick one outfit and I wear it until I either get sick of it or it falls apart. Usually people give me clothes that don’t fit them or things my boyfriend picks up for me while on tour. Mostly vintage, second hand, or weird designer clothing my friends make.
This issue of SM Mag salutes the nineties. Niki- what are some of the decade’s greatest moments?
Niki Takesh: Fiona Apple’s “This world is bullshit” speech, Britney Spears, N’Sync.
Quintessential songs for a classic nineties playlist?
Sandy Kim: 1979
Niki Takesh: Mariah Carey and Missy Elliott turn the party up.
Sandy Kim: Anything Tupac, Britney Spears, TLC. Mariah Carey- duh.“Who let the dogs out?” WHO WHO WHO. Nirvana, Snoop Dogg. The golden era of hip hop— Wu Tang!
Niki Takesh: Dre, Eminem.
Sandy Kim: Spice Girls and Spaceman 3.
What are you currently most nostalgic for?
Sandy Kim: San Francisco circa 2006-2008.
Niki Takesh: I miss 2000-2005.
Tell me more about 2001- the year tattooed on your ankle.
Niki Takesh: I just like the music and fashion and life in general back then. 2001 was cool.
Sandy, any fond memories from that year?
Sandy Kim: I can’t remember 2001… I was a raver back then.
Earliest memory of Steve Madden? It was all about Steve Madden gear back then.
Niki Takesh: Ugh, those ads with the girls who had giant heads!
Sandy Kim: I was obsessed with Steve Madden growing up.
Niki Takesh: I was obsessed- my life goal was to be her. I felt really cool in Steve Madden.
Sandy Kim: Me too!
Me three. Life back then was like “Steve Madden. Or you can’t sit with us!”
Sandy Kim: If you were going to wear platforms, they had to be Steve Madden.
Quick round of word association.
Sandy Kim: Pleather
Niki Takesh: Sex
Sandy Kim: Nipples
Niki Takesh: Ashlee Simpson
Sandy Kim: River Phoenix
Niki Takesh: Heath Ledger
Niki Takesh: Periwinkle
Sandy Kim: Killin’ it.