New Yorkers love rags to riches stories. New Yorkers are drawn to stories about getting a second chance in life. New Yorkers love stories about redemption and personal triumph. There is one New Yorker whose life story touches upon all those issues and more – and you can see it all in a new documentary Maddman: The Steve Madden Story.
Born and raised in Far Rockaway, Queens – A young Steve Madden was enamored with New York City a young age. After dropping out of college and a stint with a Long Island clothing boutique – Steve made the move to Greenwich Village. He learned the shoe business from a noted wholesaler – but beneath the facade of success, Steve was battling substance abuse problems.
After rehab, Steve started to make his comeback – and launched his own company in 1990 with only 1100 dollars to his name. Madden went around to retail outlets all over New York City, literally selling shoes out of the trunk of his car.
Once again he found success, but this time on a much bigger level. Capitalizing on the trend for platform heels in the early 1990’s, the Steve Madden label began to dominate the teen market in women’s footwear. He opened a store in Soho, took his company public, and the Steve Madden brand became a Billion dollar shoe company in a short period.
Unfortunately, Steve got mixed up in the financial industry’s civil and criminal activities that were depicted in the famous film “Wolf of Wall Street”. As a result of what happened – Steve served prison time, but he emerged a better man from it.
Now Steve wants to share what he learned from his roller coaster life story with the public – to educate others to not do what he did. There are many messages to be drawn from Maddman: The Steve Madden Story, but the most important is to never give up.