About Steve Madden
As far as popular designer brands go, Steve Madden has come a long way in a relatively short period. This shoe designer has easily become one of the most popular and recognizable names all within a fairly short amount of time. With time, this brand name only continues to gain popularity.
It all began just over 20 years ago in 1990, at least for the Steve Madden shoe design. Before that though, the designer himself had some experience in the field. In his early career days as a teen, prior to owning his own company, Steve Madden worked at a shoe store as well as a women’s clothing store boutique. Before branching out on his own, Steve Madden also worked as a sales representative for a footwear company.
Born in New York, Madden attended the University of Miami for two years before returning to New York. His first attempt to have his own company with a former co-worker resulted in Souliers, which did not fare well. Still determined to make a go of it, Madden used a line of credit and a measly $1,000 bank account to cover the expense of producing 500 pairs of his shoes.
The Marilyn & Mary Lou
It began, quite literally, with a modern version of the clog. Steve Madden set out around New York selling his shoe, the Marilyn, to stores right out of the truck of his car. From there his first big seller was a different version of the classic Mary Jane called the Mary Lou. From there it didn’t take long for his designs and the brand name to be in high demand.
Steve Madden prospered from cashing in on the popular platform heel design that was so popular in the beginning of the ‘90s. The designer himself admits the inspiration for this style came from some of his favorite rock stars of the ‘70s. From there the signature chunky heel the Steve Madden brand became known for was born.
Madden not only did well with the women’s footwear market but also managed to appeal to the very important market, teenage girls. In fact, this feat alone within just five years of business brought him a great deal of attention in the world of business and business media.
In 1993 Steve Madden opened his first retail store in the highly desirable SoHo neighborhood. Sales took off like wildfire, and the brand began to grow. By 1997 Steve Madden had also begun to cut licensing deals to be able to branch out in the market including lines such as denim, handbags and even jewelry.
Bumps in the Road
There was a black moment in the history of the company. In 2002 Steve Madden was sentenced to more than three years in jail and over $3 million in fines as a result of an insider trading and fraud case. Madden admitted his judgment had been clouded by stupidity and greed and willingly accepted the term he was handed. Although Madden himself was forced to resign as CEO as part of his punishment, he did continue to be a creative consultant so that he still held a position in the company while in prison.
Not only did the company survive the storm, there was even a surprise bonus from the event. During his time in a Florida prison the company’s director of operations, Wendy Ballew, had to visit him regularly. The two not only fell in love but got engaged.
After just 31 months, Steve Madden was released from jail and in 2005 married Ballew. Proof that the company had survived came a year later. In 2006 Steve Madden, Ltd. received the award for “Company of the Year” during the Footwear News Achievement Awards.
The Madden Vision
To this day to company continues to grow and is known for creative design. Mr. Madden explains that the fashion world around him is what continues to bring him inspiration. Whether it is New York, London or anywhere in between and beyond, Steve Madden continues to sell to and appeal to men, women and teen boys and girls all over the world.
Madden also says that people today shape fashion by having so much individual style. Madden wants to be a part of helping fashion forward fashionistas embrace their unique style while still delivering the independence the brand has been known for since first offering the world its funky chunky platform style shoe.
Some of what people can shop for from the Steve Madden brand name, aside from footwear, includes but it not restricted to:
- Apparel including denim and dresses
- Handbags and purses
- Belts and accessories
- Sunwear including glasses
- Cold weather outerwear
- And so much more
The company also continues to strive to keep current by rebranding through repackaging, redesigning and reaching out to new areas for global market expansion. Shoppers can enjoy Steve Madden retail stores and outlets around the world, as well as find merchandise through department stores and shop in a variety of online locations for all things Steve Madden.
Steve Madden outlets are a little trickier to find than some other brands out there. If you live near one or will be traveling somewhere with a Steve Madden outlet location, make it a point to stop by and pick up this brand name at even better discount prices.
Some of the current locations include:
- Philadelphia Premium Outlets( Limerick, PA in Eastern Pennsylvania)
- Camarillo Premium Outlets (Camarillo, CA just north of L.A.)
- Las Vegas Premium Outlets (Las Vegas, NV)
- Tanger Outlet of Riverhead NY (Long Island)
- Opry Mills (Nashville, TN)
- Orlando Premium Outlets (Orlando, FL on Vineland Ave)
- Houston Premium Outlets (Cypress, TX in the Houston area)
Whether you are looking for the latest in footwear fashion or something else that bears the Steve Madden name, you are sure to find the best in cutting edge, trendy looks.