The man behind every girl’s favorite shoes will be making an appearance this weekend at the Dillard’s in Park Meadows Mall. That’s right, ladies, Steve Madden will be the main attraction for an event that turns Dillard’s into something else from 12-5 pm. Julissa Bermudez from MTV will be hosting this event, ripe with a DJ playing top 40 music and free Steve Madden shoes (at least ten pairs of shoes will be raffled off, and winners will pick the Steve Madden shoes of their choice right off of the Dillard’s floor). Everyone who gets in line to meet the Steve Madden (making his appearance from 2-3:30 pm) will receive a free tote bag and Steve Madden t-shirt, get Steve’s autograph and their picture taken with him.
So, in anticipation of his appearance, 303 caught up with the much-adored household name, Steve Madden.
303: How did you start your business?
SM: Twenty years ago, I started out with $1,100 in the bank. I drove all over New York selling my shoes out of the trunk of my car.
303: How did your upbringing influence you?
SM: I was fortunate enough to have parents that made me get a job when I was just a teenager growing up on Long Island. I was a stock boy in a shoe store, and it really helped me develop my work ethic and, also, passion for the industry.
303: Were you always interested in shoes? Just women’s shoes or men’s as well?
SM: I’ve been interested in women and their shoes for as long as I can remember.
303: What’s the most flattering style of shoe a woman can wear?
SM: Anything a woman truly feels confident in, sexy in, is what she should be wearing. I’ve found that high heels usually do the trick.
303: Have you designed shoes for many celebrities?
SM: I’ve been lucky to have a great celebrity following over these past twenty years. Rihanna, Kate Moss, Heidi Klum and Taylor Swift are a few fans of my shoes.
303: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
SM: Just waking up and coming to a job I love every day for the past two decades has been the highlight.
303: What are some general trends in shoes right now that people should be buying for spring?
SM: There’s a lot of great edgy detailing on many of the pieces in this collection, giving shoes that rock and roll feel. The military look is also very present, with many combat boots and similar styles. Stacked platforms are also huge this season.
303: As of 5/4, your first quarter sales look pretty good. Did you do anything different this year?
SM: It’s been a great year so far. We always work tirelessly to stay ahead of the trends, while also keeping comfort and versatility in mind. We’re always in search of the next big thing.
303: What are you “go-to” shoes?
SM: Old boots that I bought in L.A. ages ago.
303: What type of shoes would you never be caught dead wearing?
303: How would your friends describe you in five words or less?
SM: It would take a lot more than five words.
303: Do your kids wear Steve Madden? Does your wife?
SM: Oh yeah, definitely. I couldn’t begin to count my wife’s shoes. My two-and-a-half-year-old twins are building quite the collection as well.
303: What’s the key to a successful business?
SM: The main key is passion. If you don’t love what you do, then you won’t last a minute. My big break came when I hired people to help me execute my vision.
303: What’s your favorite food?
SM: Ham and eggs with toast.
303: How do you spend your free time?
SM: Hanging out with my kids and, also, golfing as much as possible.