Steve Madden documentary 'Maddman' launches on iTunes and Amazon
The 77 minute documentary chronicles Madden through his rise to fame in the late 90s, through his fall and 41 months in jail after getting embroiled with Jordan Belfort of Martin Scorsese's Wolf of Wall Street fame.
The documentary showcases how Madden made a comeback and is currently back in business holding a competitive market share once again.
The documentary is directed by Ben Patterson who begins the story with Madden as a stock boy in the 1970s. It follows Madden to college in Miami where he was influenced by his brother living nearby and early 80s club culture. When Madden's father caught onto how he was spending his college time, he pulled him out of school and brought him home to work at Jildor.
Madden says he learned about retail at Jildor where he had to "[deal] with these hysterical Jewish women from Long Island."
Like Phil Knight, who started Nike out of the back of a van by a running track in Oregon, Madden started his footwear empire with $1,100 out of the trunk of his doorman's car in NY. The documentary highlights his first successful styles, the Marilyn slide and the chunky Mary Lou embraced by grunge style.
As the business became successful, Madden was challenged with how to raise more money to continue expanding. He became involved with Belfort at that time. When Steve Madden went public, it reportedly was valued at $22 million in three hours. Revenue almost tripled between 1997 and 1999, going from $59 million annually to $163 million.
Ultimately, the profits were illegal. Madden served a 41 month term in jail and had to pay $9 million in fines.
Madden recovered and rebounded after serving his jail sentence. His business is back and has continued to expand online and also at brick and mortar with new larger retail concepts showcasing footwear and apparel. It acquired fellow 90's giant Betsey Johnson. It was recently named company of the year by Footwear News.
The company has a factory in Long Island that makes an upscale handmade line, and also can speed samples to market downtown NYC.
Rob Schmertz, Steve Madden brand director explains, "Within three or four hours, the shoe is done, and we put it on a shelf." Schmertz said if they sell eight out of twelve units at the brand's SoHo store on a Saturday they consider the prototype a success.
Maddman: The Steve Madden Story premiered last week. It is now available to download on iTunes or rent on Amazon.
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