If it's got his name on it, Lenny Kravitz says he has been involved in it 100 percent, so when you see his stamp on the new collection of Toms shoes, know the Bahamas beach-meets-modern architecture influence is genuine.
"If I'm in, I'm in it all the way," Kravitz says.
The singer got involved in designing the shoes with Toms founder Blake Mycoskie at the urging of his daughter, Zoe. She was wearing Toms casual slip-ons all the time. She also explained the brand's larger mission of donating a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair sold.
Once they met about two years ago, Kravitz says, he and Mycoskie hit it off. They'd like to do together one of the Toms' "shoe drops," possibly in Brazil or the Bahamas this summer, squeezing it in between the second leg of Kravitz's world tour that will take him through Europe and Africa. He also has two movie projects going, including the second installment of "The Hunger Games."
"The thing a lot of people don't know about Lenny isn't just his amazing personal taste in fashion and style, but he also designs wallpaper and furniture, and he sees a bigger picture," Mycoskie says.
His greatest contribution to the collection is adding prints, Mycoskie says, including one decorated "Let Love Rule," from his song.
Kravitz says the basic Toms look – fabric shoes that aren't frilly or overly structured – fits his wardrobe, even if "they remind me a little of the shoes my mom would wear in the `70s."
He stocks pairs for guests to wear in his homes, where he has a "no street shoe" rule. "No shoes in my house," he explains. "I like to lay around the floors, and I have nice floor coverings and shags and sheepskins, and I don't like bringing in things from the outside."
Kravitz says he aims to create a general vibe, through his clothes, decorating and broader lifestyle choices, to be comfortable, creative, engaging and inviting. And he has no problem looking for the same from passers-by.
"I love people watching. I love observing what people do and how they express themselves," he says. "It's inspiring to see what people do and how they twist things to make themselves unique, even if it's something you would never do."
But life is full of surprises. He never expected, for instance, to be part of the tween-teen phenomenon "The Hunger Games," taking on the stylist role of Cinna, who helps Jennifer Lawrence's character cultivate an image through her clothes.
"I had no idea `The Hunger Games' was so big, I didn't even know the book. I had been living under my own rock," he says. "But then I read it, loved it. ... It's interesting to walk down the street and hear girls saying, `Oh, that's Cinna,' and they have no idea about the music."
Please visit http://www.toms.com to see the entire collection.
Lenny Kravitz's 1991 album, Mama Said, has been digitally remastered and expanded for a special Deluxe Edition to be released on June 5th (June 4th outside of North America) by Virgin/EMI. The 2CD and digital album adds 21 bonus tracks to the album's original line-up, including 15 previously unreleased recordings from Kravitz's personal archive (please see track listing below).
By 1991, a good part of the world was already under the spell of Lenny Kravitz's psychedelic brand of rock by way of his 1989 debut Let Love Rule. Now Kravitz was back with a groundbreaking album, Mama Said, a collection that took the listener on a musical journey filled with brutally honest recounts of love, failures, hope, spirituality and acceptance. It notably featured a resounding 7 singles, including several definitive Kravitz classics such as "Always On The Run" and "It Ain't Over Til It's Over."
Among the Deluxe Edition's previously unreleased recordings are several unfinished songs from the Mama Said album sessions, as well as home demos from late in the Let Love Rule era, which would later be finished for inclusion on Mama Said. Others, including "Riding On The Wings Of My Lord" and "Framed, Lying, Crying," would not be released in any form - until now. Also included is the previously unreleased "It Ain't Over Til It's Over" remix 12" (sides A and B) and an unissued five-song live EP recorded in Rotterdam during the Mama Said tour. Official live and studio B-sides are also included, completing the commemorative reissue of this epic classic album.
Lenny Kravitz: Mama Said (Deluxe Edition)
* = Previously unreleased
1. Fields of Joy
2. Always on the Run
3. Stand by My Woman
4. It Ain't Over 'Till It's Over
5. More Than Anything in This World
6. What Goes Around Comes Around
7. The Difference Is Why
8. Stop Draggin' Around
9. Flowers For Zoe
10. Fields of Joy (Reprise)
11. All I Ever Wanted
12. When the Morning Turns to Night
13. What The .... Are We Saying?
15. Light Skin Girl From London
16. I'll Be Around
17. Always On The Run (Instrumental)
18. It Ain't Over Til It's Over (12" Remix Instrumental)*
19. It Ain't Over Til It's Over (12" Extended/Dub version)*
1. Riding On The Wings Of My Lord (Rough Demo)*
2. It Ain't Over Til It's Over (Home Demo)*
3. What The .... Are We Saying (Home Demo)*
4. The Difference Is Why (Home Demo)*
5. Riding On The Wings Of My Lord (Funky Vocal)*
6. Riding On The Wings Of My Lord (Instrumental)*
7. Framed, Lying, Crying (Instrumental Segue)*
8. Stand By My Woman (Instrumental)*
9. Stop Draggin' Around (Live in Rotterdam)*
10. Always On The Run (Live in Rotterdam)*
11. Fields Of Joy (Live in Rotterdam)*
12. Stand By My Woman (Live in Rotterdam)*
13. More Than Anything In This World (Live in Rotterdam)*
14. Always On The Run (live in Japan)
15. Stop Draggin' Around (live in Japan)
16. What The .... Are We Saying? (live in Japan)
Regarded as one of the preeminent rock musicians of our time, Lenny Kravitz has transcended genre, style, race and class into a 20-year musical career, one which revels in the influences of '60s and '70s soul, rock and funk. In that time, Kravitz has sold nearly 40 million albums worldwide and won four GRAMMY Awards. The artist's multiple talents as a writer, producer and multi-instrumentalist have resonated through nine studio albums into a timeless catalog. In addition to the Mama Said – Deluxe Edition, Lenny Kravitz recently released his ninth studio album Black and White America, a rock and funk-infused collection. He is currently out on a world tour, which will take him to stadiums and arenas across Europe and Russia this summer.