Madonna's Brother Dances his Way to New Shoe Collection

By: Lauren Moraski, CBS
By: Lauren Moraski, CBS

(CBS News) When Slovakian company Novesta approached Christopher Ciccone about designing his own shoe line, the interior designer/artist said, "You're crazy."

Madonna's younger brother told the company it probably wants a shoe designer, which he was not. But the fashion executives told Ciccone what they wanted was an artist.

Six months later, Ciccone, 51, is readying The Ciccone Collection, which will make its debut Sept. 14 at London Fashion Week.

The collection will feature rubber boots, sneakers and leather shoes for women, men and children. There will be bold colors and classic looks inspired by the likes of artists such as John Singer Sargent.

"The difficult task was to bring something new to the market and give [the shoes] an uplift and make them a bit more interesting to wear as fashion as opposed to something that just keeps your feet dry," Ciccone told CBSNews.com. "Although they do both."

Each design has a particular name attached to it. The women's collection, for example, will feature names based on "classic movie sirens" Brigitte Bardot and Ava Gardner.

Ciccone said his goal is to make the brand "accessible to everybody" and not too pricey.

"The great thing about doing shoes is that potentially everyone could have a pair. When you're doing art, there's only one," Ciccone said, adding that his own artwork also influenced the styles.

And he's not the only Ciccone with a brand.

Big sister Madonna launched Truth or Dare, her own fashion line in 2010, but Ciccone says, "It's very different to mine," adding, "Obviously I hope she does well. I'm sure she will."

Ciccone detailed his relationship with the pop star in the 2008 New York Times bestseller, "Live With My Sister Madonna." There have been reports the two are now estranged, but Ciccone says he's glad he published the tell-all book.

"I don't regret any of that," he said. "I think because of that it sort of led me to this. It gave people an opportunity to think of me as a creative person, as an artist and not just as Madonna's brother, which is a tag I'm going to wear forever. But I'm hopeful that at some point it will be Christopher Ciccone first. It's cool...I'm perfectly happy being what I am."

Madonna celebrated her 54th birthday just last week, and when asked whether he got in touch, Ciccone said, "I sent her a birthday wish. Our relationship is fine as far as I'm concerned."

Meanwhile, more writing could be in the works for Ciccone, who reveals that he's been writing a novel.

Plans for that will be on hold, though, while he focuses on The Ciccone Collection, which he hopes will grow into a larger lifestyle brand that will include outerwear, accessories and home goods.

What seemed "a bit odd" at first has turned into a real passion for Ciccone, who previously served as Madonna's backup dancer and designed sets, as well as directed the singer's concert tours. More recently, he has spent time doing residential and commercial interior design.

"It's like creating something that people live in -- whether a room, or a house, or a stage -- shoes are very much like that. Once I managed to sort that in my head it actually seemed like a really good fit," Ciccone said of the footwear collection.

It's a concept that Ciccone soon realized was not so "crazy" after all.

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