Steve Madden was 13 months into his 31-month jail sentence when his private hell bought even worse. It was 2003, and the shoe designer was doing time for inventory fraud at Eglin Federal Jail Camp in Florida.

Good habits and 6 months in a drug and alcohol program had earned him an eight-day furlough and whittled down his sentence by 18 months. However cash, the very factor that put him within the slammer, bought in the best way once more.

“There was this child named Stomach,” Madden informed The Put up. “He would prepare dinner for me and assist me out. However he had no cash to purchase cleaning soap, detergent or little issues. So my assistant despatched him $500. You aren’t allowed to do this and any individual informed on me.”

In seconds, Madden misplaced all the things another time. The warden held a mock “trial” for his offense, he stated, with a jail guards taking part in prosecutor and protection legal professional. He misplaced the “case” and with it his furlough and lowered sentence. “It was the worst second of my life,” he stated. “They despatched me to a different jail that was extra ‘prison-y.’”

Madden writes concerning the expertise in his new memoir, “The Cobbler: How I Disrupted an Trade, Fell from Grace & Got here Again Stronger Than Ever” (Radius Books), out Tuesday.

“I woke as much as the sensation of water frivolously misting my face,” he writes of his first day in a holding facility on his manner from Elgin to the a lot harsher Coleman Federal Correctional Advanced. “It wasn’t water in any respect. It was urine.”

Recognized for his brash Lengthy Island depth, Madden’s e book reveals a extra timorous aspect of his persona and delves into the bottom factors of his habit to Quaaludes, monetary misdoings and time in jail.

Born the youngest of three boys, to an Irish Catholic father who ran a textile manufacturing facility and a Jewish homemaker mom, Madden felt that his combined heritage made him “an anomaly.” He struggled in highschool, preferring his job at a shoe retailer in Cederhurst. However his budding obsession was derailed by a failed foray at school.

“[It’s] the place I first fell in love with Quaaludes,” he writes of his stint on the College of Miami. “I discovered an addict’s trick: taking drugs on an empty abdomen so nothing would intrude with the excessive. Getting loaded was all that mattered.”

After his father yanked him out of faculty, he went so wild in New York that the administration at his dad and mom’ constructing kicked him out.

“I used to be out late each evening and got here house excessive, stumbling round and crashing into furnishings within the foyer,” he writes.

The Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman, Fla.
The Coleman Federal Correctional Advanced in Coleman, Fla.AP

He would cross out in golf equipment, eating places and even on high of ladies. As soon as, he awoke bare in his new condo’s hallway — waddling all the way down to the foyer for assist along with his manhood in hand.

Regardless of his benders, Madden was – not less than by day — constructing a shoe empire. He partnered with the homeowners of an old-fashioned shoe manufacturing facility within the metropolis and bought his designs to outlets and malls from the trunk of his automobile. He additionally steadily stopped ladies on the road and acquired kicks proper off their toes, for inspiration.

“I promise I’m not a creep,” he would say.

When, within the early ’90s, his high-school pal Danny Porush provided to assist elevate capital to develop his enterprise, Madden jumped. His multi-million greenback IPO with Stratton Oakmont — the brokerage that Porush ran with Jordan Belfort, later often called the “Wolf of Wall Avenue” — made the designer wealthy in a single day. It might, finally, land him behind bars.

“Jordan was like nobody else I’ve ever met earlier than or since,” Madden writes. “He grew to become some of the influential individuals in my life … I used to be pumping and dumping [stocks] proper alongside them.”

Madden with his team in the factory in the early 2000s.
Madden along with his staff within the manufacturing facility within the early 2000s.

When the feds began circling Madden, he caught by Belfort, permitting the Wolf to make use of his firm’s workplace and refusing to put on a wire or rat him out. Belfort ended up serving simply 22 months for his schemes, whereas Madden served 31 months.

He was in a position to reclaim his enterprise after jail and remains to be the corporate’s artistic and design chief. Like most vogue retailers, Madden has struggled by means of the COVID-19 pandemic — together with, he stated, with Zoom conferences. He has been locked down in his 57th Avenue condo, the place the divorcé spends time along with his three youngsters. With a lot of his enterprise now shifted to on-line orders, he stated that he’s as soon as once more reimagining the artistic finish of his firm for an viewers that wishes cozy slippers and clogs whereas working from house.

And though he dedicated all of it to paper, Madden admits that he isn’t totally comfy along with his tales of extra being on the market for public consumption.

“I want I didn’t write it now,” Madden stated, his personal phrases sinking in as he’s now recording the audio e book. “I actually do. It’s very bare. It’s bare-all. On the time [I started writing], I simply wished to get all of it on the market. However I’m in a distinct house now with the pandemic and all the things. Now, I’m like, ‘I don’t know if I would like that to be identified.’”


Shoe designer Steve Madden in his new memoir opens up about his eye-opening previous.

Tamara Beckwith/NY Put up


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