Steve Madden on wedge sneakers, Betsey Johnson and DC style

May 3, 2013

Steve Madden, the man behind the reasonably-priced shoe empire of the same name, is headed to Nordstroms in Tysons Corner in Virginia Saturday, May 4, from 2:00-3:30 p.m.

We caught up with the designer briefly to ask his thoughts on trends, reality television and being portrayed in the upcoming Scorsese film, “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

What trends do you think we’ll see in D.C. this summer?

Little booties with dresses, flat sandals with metal on them. A lot of sneakers, which are cool. We have several pairs of wedge sneakers, in the M Street store. I definitely think you’ll see a lot of them.

What is your position in the company now? And are there any additional partnerships or anything new in the works?

It’s the same position I’ve always had, the head designer, I’m just not the CEO anymore. So chief creative director and that is what I focus on, the shoes and the products. I’ve always done that, from day one.

We’re doing some fun collaborations: A$AP Rocky for men’s. Keysha Cole for women’s. Rachel Bilson, working with the Olsen twins. We’ve got a few other things coming.

Superga also, they’re kind of the Keds of Italy. We also own Betsey Johnson, she is a great designer.

Betsey is getting her own reality show on Style Network. Would you ever be interested in reality television? 

I was on the Keyshia Cole show [Keyshia & Daniel: Family First], I think, and I’m on the Betsey show. Betsey is her own unique personality. But I have no desire to do a show. Maybe to be on “Meet the Press,” other than that, or “Bill Maher.” I have no desire for a reality show. My life is boring, and no one cares. I can’t think of anything that would be more dreadful.

Betsey Johnson attends the 2013 NBC Universal Summer Press Day (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Getty Images).
Betsey Johnson (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Getty Images).

Though people do care about that stuff, my wife watches the House Wives. I don’t watch any of it.

What are your thoughts on being portrayed in “The Wolf of Wall Street”? 

They contacted me, and I’m such a big fan of [Martin] Scorsese so we let them film in our store in New York City, so I hope they don’t make me look too bad.

No, it should be fun, it’ll be alright. I’m only a small part of it.

I hear the guy is cool that plays me (Dustin Hoffman’s son, Jake) so that is all that counts. I’m glad its not like Andy Dick or something.

I didn’t read the book. A lot of it is made up stuff. It’s a guy that got in trouble that told on his friends and now writes a book. It’s not interesting to me.

What have you learned since that time in your life?

Its not all about money, we make a lot of girls happy with our shoes and I love what I do. When you are younger, you think it’s all about money and it’s not. I help employ a lot of people, and I’m proud of that.

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Chris Richards | May 3, 2013