Steve Madden at his Ludlow store in Manhattan, where Karmin...

Steve Madden at his Ludlow store in Manhattan, where Karmin performed as part of the Steve Madden Summer Concert Series. (May 9, 2012) Credit: Nina Ruggiero

A pair of pop stars, cocktails and the season's hottest shoes -- Steve Madden knows how to kick off summer.

The Long Island-bred designer known for his footwear welcomed Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan, who together form pop music duo Karmin, to his Ludlow store in Manhattan last week to start his summer concert series.

After going viral on YouTube, Karmin is now best known for their hit single “Brokenhearted” and will be performing at radio festivals this summer while promoting their album.

“It's like a Cinderella story but also a tornado of happiness,“ Heidmann said of the sudden fame.

The singer wore her hair in a 1940s-inspired suicide roll and described her style as “retro and a little bit quirky."

"I grew up in the Midwest and when I got to college I was like, 'Steve Madden is like the fanciest shoes you could possibly have,'" she laughed. “I've always loved his stuff.“

Heidemann, who named Gwen Stefani as her biggest fashion influence, said she wore Steve Madden shoes during Karmin's "Saturday Night Live" performance in February, and also at her shows as a student at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. She chose a pair of his wedges for the downtown gig.

Madden arrived ready to rock out, singing lines from his favorite songs of the moment, “Somebody That I used to Know” by Gotye and “Rack City” by Tyga.

“I'm interested in the parallel tracks that music and fashion take, so I thought we'd have some fun and bridge the gap,“ he said.

Madden said his favorite shoe trend of the moment is using nail heads to embellish sneakers, but his next project is focusing on fancier footwear.

“We're working on lots of dress shoes, new kinds of pumps,“ he said. 

Prepare to party in style but get those Band-Aids ready, ladies . . . Madden says making your feet look good is his top priority when designing new shoes. “Style always comes first, then comfort,“ he said, adding that his platform wedges are a great alternative for women who don't do well in heels.

But where does Madden, who grew up in Lawrence, like to spend summer days when he's not designing or hosting concerts?

“I love Long Beach,“ he said. “The beach there is great.“

The schedule of upcoming concerts in the Steve Madden summer series has not yet been released.