Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015|2 a.m.
Steve Madden checked out Las Vegas in 1981 while working his very first shoe convention in the city. He remained at the Flamingo just because, as he stated, “I have a fascination with Bugsy Siegel.”
Madden had to do some quick buying on that journey, to buy a white dress t-shirt to use with blue pants. However the Las Vegas of that period was not today’s retail mecca.
“All I desired was a button-down shirt, and I might not find a shop,” Madden remembered from the Steve Madden Ltd. show fortress at the recent Magic Convention at the Las Vegas Convention Center. “I swear to God, the only stores I might find were tuxedo stores. … That wouldn’t take place today.”
The Steve Madden behind the Steve Madden brand is a tough-talking, straight-shooting sort of man. It’s easy to see why he would have an interest in Siegel. Madden famously launched his company 25 years earlier by investing $1,100 he made selling shoes from the trunk of his vehicle.
For those interested in dubious mystique, Madden was secured for 31 months and launched in April 2005 after being convicted of stock control and cash laundering.
“I got greedy,” he stated. “I got blended with the wrong guys, and you misplace exactly what’s right. It was a terrible experience. It seemed like 200 years.”
But business he founded has actually continued to grow, today exceeding $1.3 billion in annual sales. Madden has actually ended up being something of a popular culture hero, a shoes business owner represented by Jake Hoffman (Dustin’s kid) in “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
At 57, Madden wears a baseball cap and takes messages on two phones– a new iPhone 6 and a 2003 LG flip phone. He operates 5 stores in Las Vegas: at Fashion Program shopping center, the Venetian’s Grand Canal Shoppes, Las Vegas Premium Outlets at Symphony Park, the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood and Town Square.
Madden is the human personification of his brand– in consistent demand.
One guest at the Magic booth is tape-recording artist Cassie Ventura, a stunning girl who takes place to be the partner of rap mogul Diddy.
“I like her; we might do a collab with her,” Madden says, making use of shorthand for “collaboration.” “She has actually offered a few records– however not a great deal of hits. However Diddy is the closest thing we have to Sinatra, and all the girls who wear Steve Madden are her fans.”
Later on, Snooki, of “Jersey Shore” fame, pops in for a media event.
“My star is so weird,” Madden states. “So many times I have actually played golf with men who didn’t understand my name, but they go the home of their wives or daughters and inform them who they golfed with. Then it’s, ‘Oh, my God! I didn’t recognize!’ But you sound like a shmuck if you state, ‘Ask any female about me. They’ll tell you I’m famous.’ You seem like a genuine (jerk) if you do that.”
Madden when was a ravenous reader. No longer.
“I enjoy to check out,” he stated. “I’ve read books my whole life, and now I have a hard time to discover time. We live in a brand-new world, which we such as, for all the whining.”
Madden still plannings to rise to high fashion with his items, which are remarkably developed and high quality however not priced in the Louboutin strata.
“I would love to be more powerful in the designer company, the Gucci location, which Steve Madden is not,” he stated. “It’s so different, an entirely different visual, and I’m not talking practically design. But I make pop shoes. I’m not the least expensive, but I’m not the most pricey. I’m a tactile guy, which’s a difficult, special area. But I’ll attempt, I’ll inform you that.”
“I never believed I ‘d be around for 25 years,” Madden continued. “I never ever believed it would resemble this ever.”
He remembered Vegas from decades ago.
“I loved heading out and gambling all night and going into a dumpy joint to get steak and eggs or waffles,” he stated. “I loved it, just enjoyed it.”
However he requires modern-day Vegas, the one that has actually developed into a shopping location, to prosper in company.
“That’s the story of my life, guy,” he said, shaking his head. “That’s precisely it. You cannot have it both methods.”