“Cupcake Katy” features Perry wearing a dress designed by New York academic portrait painter Will Cotton and constructed by designer Cynthia Rowley. In her portrait, Perry reigns over the teenage consumer culture she has so successfully navigated. Perry was named Billboard's 2012 "Woman of the Year" and is the only artist to spend 69 consecutive weeks in the top ten of Billboard's Hot 100.
Cotton and Perry had collaborated previously on the design for the sugary-sweet set of Perry’s “California Gurls” video from 2010’s Teenage Dream album, for which Cotton had also designed the cover. Cotton is interested in exploring the use of advertising icons within consumer culture.