Steve Madden is an American fashion designer and businessman. He is most well known as the founder and former CEO of Steven Madden, Ltd., a publicly traded company.
In 1990 Madden founded Steven Madden, Ltd. He started out by having 500 pairs of shoes made to his own design and selling them to New York City-area stores from the trunk of his car. His first major success, the Mary Lou, was a variation on the classic Mary Jane style of women’s shoe. In 1993 he opened his first retail store.
In the same year, seeking more capital, he entrusted his company’s initial public offering of stock to the Long Island securities firm of Stratton Oakmont, where Danny Porush, a childhood friend, was a partner. Even as his company thrived, Madden, as an individual, continued to deal with Stratton Oakmont and its principals until about 1997.
Last year, Mr. Madden renegotiated his contract to include two stock grants valued at $80 million (that will vest from 2017 to 2023, which means he has to stay to receive them). But he says that money is no longer the important thing in his life.
What began as a modest $1100 investment in 1990 has developed into one of the most iconic brands in footwear. From a factory in Queens, NY, Steve Madden has revolutionized the shoe industry, merging years of experience with unique and creative designs.
Inspired by rock and roll and his New York roots, his vision to provide on-trend women and men with an outlet to express their individuality is innovative, daring, and inspiring. Steve’s innate understanding of trends and unparalleled willpower have resulted in millions of customers worldwide and propelled his designs to the forefront of fashion. He has expanded the Steve Madden brand into a true lifestyle and destination for footwear, handbags and accessories, sold in over 80 countries worldwide. It’s about authenticity. It’s about embracing individuality. It’s Steve Madden.