Pop star Maite Kelly (44) is a fashion role model for many. Her own plus-size collection enjoyed great success. “As a young girl, I always had difficulty finding clothes for the stage and that’s why I started designing my own clothes at a very young age,” explains the mother of three. She is now launching her first sneaker collection for the shoe label Sioux. In the interview she reveals what important role Til Schweiger (60) played in this.

Maite Kelly: Virtue came from necessity. As a young girl I always had difficulty finding clothes for the stage and that’s why I started designing my own clothes at a very young age and working with seamstresses to work them out. And I designed and co-managed one of the most successful plus-size and all-size collections with a corporation.

Kelly: Yes, my father encouraged me to study design when I was 20. I worked with a fashion designer here in Cologne for a whole year, did an internship and an apprenticeship.

Kelly: I remember this from the 90s. There was no plus size at all. There wasn’t this body positivity movement either. My father supported me a lot in being myself and standing by my body and myself. And I always have that in terms of fashion. I’m also someone who doesn’t care about shitstorms. I love Elton John or Cher. I love people who stand up for themselves in their clothing and enjoy it. I always say: Clothing is a person’s second skin. This should not be underestimated. And that’s something I can completely decide on. I can decide, what do I wear, what is the second skin, so: what feeling do I put on?

Kelly: Til Schweiger is to blame! I wouldn’t be here today without him. Til and I were sitting together watching a TV show and he apparently thought I was cute. And then he sent me Sioux shoes. He has had his own collection with the company for many years. I was like, ‘Hmm, what do I do with sneakers?’ I’m not usually a sneaker person and I really like wearing high heels. But as you get older and become a mom, you realize that your shoes need to become more practical. Then I tried them on and wore them day in and day out. On my platforms I sometimes made little jokes for my fans about how cute Til’s shoes are. And an employee at Sioux noticed that and then they asked me if I would do a collection.

Kelly: Yes, I always like a little stardust. “Crazyness with a bit of glamour”. That was kind of the approach. Nevertheless, I’m a big fan of “keep it simple”. Get to the point. And that was my first task with this collection and with the next collection, which is already a bit buzzing in my head. I’m already looking forward to what we’ll do there.

Kelly: I secretly thought: “It would be nice if these became so cool that my daughters stole them from me.” And I actually had to hide my sneakers because my kids were like, “Oh, I like the gold ones, Mom,” “The pink ones are cute!” And I was like, “No, I still need these before the event.” And now I probably have to place a large order for my own collection.

Kelly: I actually find it easier to dance in heels and I’m more likely to wear dance shoes on stage. But who knows. You should never say never…