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Episode two of the Korp, Season three, we have Steve Ma'aden interview again, an interview we're going to give everyone a time stamp of when these were actually done because a lot has happened in the world.
So, Steve Madden, we interviewed I think it was actually the day before the world shut down. So we interviewed him. He came into the bar stool office.
Very, very fascinating interview.
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OK, Steve Madden. Well, very fascinating interview with Steve Madden.
Yeah, you probably have heard his name, whether it be in the shoe world or maybe you heard his name from Wolf of Wall Street, the famous movie with Leo DiCaprio that came out a few years ago this week talking to someone like Steve Madden, who's been to prison, who is very open about their, you know, their life in prison and then coming out and kind of reclaiming his company. Just an unbelievable American story of success and failure and then success.
Again, I love talking to him.
It was an amazing story. You're talking about a guy that's a comeback story, a guy that was in jail. I mean, here's a guy that rebuilt his entire empire from from the ashes. And then the story of him going back and giving opportunities to inmates that he spent time with is just an awesome story. So many lessons, but really the epitome of the entrepreneur spirit.
It just it just flows out of him. And there'll be a lot of lessons, especially for our young listeners.
Yeah. And loyalty when he has loyalty to the people that, you know, he was in jail with and guys giving him a second chance. I love hearing about that. Whenever someone has great success, but they stay true to themselves and the loyalty for the people that maybe helped them along the way. And a lot of times in Steve Madden's case, he's talking about felons, but he knows that these are good people. He you know, he spent time with them.
He learned who they are. And I mean, he you know, he obviously opens opens up about it being a felon himself. But it doesn't matter because, Dylan, you know, America is the land of second chances and opportunity. And Steve Madden is a great case for this.
Thank God for that. Also, just kind of a cool guy. He was really cool. Yeah.
You know what was so great about him? He was so raw with his stories. That was there was just no bullshit.
It was real. I learned so much. I think everybody was going to really enjoy this lesson.
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OK, here he is. Steve Matt, you're listening to the court presented by barstool sports. OK, we now welcome on very special guests.
It is Steve Madden who is the shoe mogul. Yes, sir. His company. Steve Madden. Yes.
Very interesting career, very interesting back story that we're going to get into all of that. But you just said you walked in this room and you fist pumped us. Now we're in the middle of taping this in the middle of the coronavirus. Yes. Outbreak. And I mentioned you. I was like, oh, I'm sorry, we're doing the coronavirus pump. You said, no, I fist pump everyone. So let's just get out of the way, because now it's in my brain.
So I've always I always fist pump before the coronavirus. I think that handshake's are the dumbest habit that like men have ever created. You don't know where a guy's hand has been. And I'm not like a germophobia, not a freak. It's just to me, it strikes me as a really stupid habit guy. And and guys, you know, guys, we're like we're grubby, you know. You know, we like our hands are everywhere, you know?
And and so so the thing is that I was in prison. I don't know if you guys know that.
No, I was. Wow. I was it was terrible.
So I was in prison for a couple of years and nobody in prison. In and prison. Is very clean, you would be shocked. It's cleaner than the outside because guys are afraid to get sick because there's not a lot of medicine in the prison system. You get sick, you're hit. You just you're suffering.
You can't take Nyquil or don't got like right now. Right now. Got that shit right. They got bandaids and that's about it. So you guys, that's what fist bump started because guys are really clean. I mean, they're the floors are immaculate. You know, I lived in like, you know, I lived in like a barracks, you know, I didn't I wasn't in a cell. It's like she lived with like I kind of like a barracks, you know, I lived in a cube with two other guys or one other guy and and so that guy's never shake hands in prison.
So the only four seasons. But what the hell are you going to jail for? So, you know, I don't know if you saw the movie The Wolf of Wall Street.
Yeah. Yeah. It's kind of a nerd in that. Yeah. They played me as a nerd. I, I knew you weren't happy with that. No, I actually said that I wasn't. But in retrospect, I was very happy and but it was the story. My childhood friends raised money for my company. I got involved with them and, you know, stock stuff. And I'm not proud of it. But yeah.
Well, I mean, that counts as part of your fascinating career. I think the ups and downs are incredible. So let's start with the beginning, though. Maybe go back to that. But you started as I was I was watching some cleared up the fist bump, cleared up the first stand on the same page.
OK, now that I'm I'm looking very prescient because of the coronavirus.
Little do you know, when I ride the subway, I always hold the rail with my fist. OK, you just fist bump me.
OK, well, I think that shaking hands has got to go. Yeah. OK, ok, done.
OK, done. All right. So you start you are you reading about your back story.
You didn't come from a creative background, your family wasn't. I think your quote was creativity in my household was like fixing the TV. You did your homework. Yes, I did my homework. Yes. You start a shoe company out of the trunk of your car and you basically built this entire American dream. So, yeah. At what point in that start where you're 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, where you're like, this is what I want to do.
And what was that like, light bulb moment that.
Yeah, well, you, you packed a lot. It let me try to unpack. Yes. I hear that phrase a lot. So basically it was the first time that I thought that you could be creative and make money at the same time. And that turned me on a lot. You know, usually like it was kind of the way it was was kind of like people sort of marched off to work and they there were the artists and then there were the businessmen.
They weren't, you know, they weren't. You're either an artist like a crazy artist or you like this like straight up businessman. Right.
But this was like a merger of the two, you know, and then it was really exciting to me. Like, you could be like creative, but you could also, like, want to make money, you know. So like and today you see people like, you know, Elon Musk and Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos and, you know, maybe you, you know. Yeah. And, you know, guys that are creative and also into making money.
Yeah, absolutely. So you like both things.
Yeah. No, no, you're you're absolutely right.
There is that sense of like there, you know, being creative can actually be financially beneficial, you know, and also, you know, I like the idea of making a shoe and having everybody wear it and like really kind of like his wife when she makes a record, you know, she wants to sell it to as many as many people as possible. The idea that. But you still want it to be cool and creative. You know, you're not just making shit, you know.
Right. We say shit, I'm.
Yeah, you can say whatever you want. I want everyone, whatever they tell me to ask Steve, you know, she's starting her own shoe company with DSW. I said, tell Steve to give me one good advice on how to build my platform. So there you go.
So she's making shoes with DSW. Yes, yes, yes. Sounds like we're coming on your block. Yeah. Jaylo. So, yeah, Jaylo did they did have a shoe license. You know, she's she's awesome. Your wife and people love her. And I would say. I would say that she should be dare to be great. Don't try to be to say and there's a lot of safe stuff out there to try to be authentic to who she is.
And I would say to Jaylo, if she was here, if you wouldn't wear the shoe, don't make it. Great advice. She wears it like five days a week.
Yeah. So so so one thing I would love to at least pick your brain about is you start this company and you.
Excuse me, do you call your wife Jaylo or do you call it Jennifer? What do you say?
I call her. Let's see, Jennifer, honey, match my check. OK, we call her. All right.
So you start this company, right. And you basically bring fashionable shoes put in an affordable way. So you're bringing shoes that people might see on the runway and you're bringing that to someone who could afford it and buy it and wear to high school or college or, you know, to their job. When you did that, was that the intention? Right from the beginning, like, I want to make a shoe. That's cool for that everyone can buy.
Or was that something like, hey, no one's doing this, I got a hammer this market?
No, no, I didn't. I ended up in a market by accident. I was just making cool shoes that I thought that. Girls that I knew might wear and I didn't really have a serious plan when I started, I just wanted to make great shoes, then it kind of evolved into I don't know if evolved is the right word, but it's sort of what happened was I made a shoe a little Mary Jane shoe, and it seemed to be picked up by a lot of 15 year old girls.
You know, it wasn't my intent. And I started getting calls from the mothers. Do you know where we could find the shoe? You know, because nobody was. And those days when I started it was 30 years ago, it was the Gen X market. And so I became the guy, you know, but it was kind of an accident, really, OK?
Yeah, because I was that's always intriguing to me as someone who finds this specific spot and just kind of crushes it there. Was that the idea all along or do you almost kind of Axwell, the one there?
You know, you know, the ability to adapt is the mark of a good businessman. You know, not everything as you as you know and is, you know, I mean, things change and you have to you know, you start out this way, but maybe I have to, you know, make a correction here.
Right now. You're your business is, you know, moving in another direction.
Right? Right. Yeah. So you started 30 years ago with the company.
If you were twenty one again now, what changes or would it be fairly similar to how you started building this conglomerate?
Well, if I would, I would if I was 21, I would, I would try to take much less cocaine than I did 30 years. No, but that's a joke.
It's tough today, you know, but I mean, sure, there's entrepreneurs out there, uh. That are going to make it. I mean, it's always tough for for an entrepreneur. It's just it's very different. The platforms are very different, not the shoe platforms, the platforms to sell on. And I think the the big change from for me, for my era is is the telephone is the phone and social media. Those are the two.
It's just such a huge shift that, you know, just it's just a game changer that is.
Now, even with that shift, though, I was reading that you guys still with your shops, your brick and mortar shops, you have a kind of a rule that if you sell I think it was eight out of 12 shoes in the Soho shop on a Saturday. That's a hit. You still go by that?
Yes. Well, we track it in stores and on the Internet, and we're very much still a big testing company. We like to we always do that. Right. Big, big thing that we do.
So that's interesting, you know, part where your stores all over the country. Right. Know we don't just test.
And so we could test in Atlanta, we could test in North Miami, we could test in Orange County and and having that ability to be kind of at the cusp of, you know, trends and fashion, have you found that that gets more difficult as the market gets clouded and Internet and everything comes around or.
The the the Internet is, you know, it's different, the hits are anonymous as opposed to I used to stand in the stores, I go to Miami, I, I sit in the stores and watch the girls try on the shoes. And and there's stuff that you don't just get from a page. It's it's you know, you can see the way the girl woman reacts to a shoe and and and that you don't get on the Internet.
You know, we're still doing both and it's working.
Yeah. Yeah, it absolutely is working. Yeah. I got a little whoa. Question for you. This one's going to blow your mind.
Yeah. When you're creating a shoe, do you know it's going to be fashionable and trendy because you know what fashion and trends are? Or do you know it's going to be fashionable and trendy because you created it. So are you the trend maker?
Well, that's a good question. Thank you. I thought so. It's a very good question. And I would say both things are true. I do lead and I do follow, you know, at the same time and, you know, there's a back in the day I give an example, I made a loafer, you know, it was it was a traditional loafer that I you know, I kind of, like, funked it up, made it big, broad toe and a big fat heel.
And it was very successful. And all the kids wore the shoe. And then so I was doing an appearance at a store and some little teenager came and went to the shoemaker and put some big platforms down this low frame. I took the shoe and ran with that shoe for a while. So it's it's a combination. So the girls the women really influenced me at the same time I'm influencing them. I think it's like that with pop stories probably, too.
Yeah. I've heard David Bowie actually talk about that, like the back and forth and it's.
Yeah. You know, how he was. You know, he was so he was such a leader, you know, did he did a lot of different things, but he was also affected by his fans. You know, they would change him that, you know you know, it's kind of like a give and take back and keep growing up.
I mean, you said 30 years ago, who were some of the other mentors that mentored you or figures that actually inspired you as a young man come out of Queens? Yes.
So that's that's sort of interesting. So some of my mentors, you don't know. They were obviously my dad was a big hero of mine and and and I worked for some worked in a shoe store. The guy was a skyjack, was a big. Hero of mine and mentor, not hero, mentor, but I was inspired by. By like Spike Lee, whom I've never met, Spike Lee, oh, Spike, he's the best. I always wanted to tell him that I never approached him and I've seen him around.
You should tell him how I appreciate it. He's my he's my age, but I remember the movie. Do the right thing. Well, Do the right thing was great. I've seen all of his movies. I'm a huge fan of his. Yeah. Know I don't have to meet him. It's fine, you know, but it was called she's got to have it. And it was when I was starting I was so inspired by that, you know, I'm inspired.
I was you know, I'm Richard Pryor inspired me, you know, go to. Just so many artists have inspired me to, of course, uh. You know. Earl the Pearl Monroe inspired me, Mookie Wilson inspired me. I love that Keith Hernandez, Keith Hernandez.
That's my guy, Keith. Yeah. Keith Hernandez.
Who inspired you? Who? That's a good question. I don't even know who it inspired me. I mean, I. I mean, my dad, I don't I don't really know if I was like, well, I mean, Michael Jordan, but there's also like it's a I'm in a weird profession where podcasting, there's it's hard to be like, oh, yeah, this person inspired me because it's so new. And I'm sure you probably were feeling that way.
Like I used to come up with this American life. I used to listen to all the time. No inspiration. There we go. I just gave you one IRA Glass, this American Life. I loved that show. I loved Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keillor. That was always one of my favorites.
And I want to just jump in for you. Yeah. Yeah. Hernandez was really was cool because he was fast. He was a fantastic hitter. But also he was a great glove, got seven gold gloves. The thing about keep in mind is you always felt like he was thinking very he was a thinker. He was a thinker. So that was that bit going on, too. So he crossword puzzle every day and. Yeah. What's he like, what's he thinking about.
Like he was he'd be like holding a guy on first but you knew that he was like got something going on. Yeah. Yeah.
And a pitching coach out there too. He would always go talk to the pitcher and say, hey this.
Yes, I love them. But my favorite player, it's interesting that he said that was Mookie Wilson. Mookie is great. I loved watching Mookie Will simply because I never saw anybody run like that. So I saw Mookie Wilson. They would hit he'd be on first and it would be a ground ball to short and he would go all the way to third. The guy would break a routine, play the first and Mookie would go all the way to third.
And I never the guys ever do that. I mean, I've never seen guys do that.
People don't run much anymore. No, I'm thinking of the guy's name on Hughes play for the Reds. Billy Billy Hatcher.
No, no, no. Like recent guy Billy Hamilton. Oh, yeah. He was like that where it's like you don't see that very often a guy gets on first base. You're like he's going to score no matter what. If he gets on first base with no outs because he's going to steal a base, he's going to, you know, get get home on a single from second, that kind of thing.
So the other the other side of that question, I just want to say to you guys, as an artist or a creator sometimes. The art that is so good, you know, whether it's, you know, something like Mad Men or The Sopranos or a Martin Scorsese film, that it makes me want to go back to bed and like, I can't do anything. There's no point in me, like, even doing anything because these guys are such geniuses.
Right. So, like, you know, like, what's the point? You know, you go that way all the time. You could you could get like that. So it's better to. You know, like a work of art is just so amazing and so but, you know, yeah, I am moved I moved by by Spike's work and it made me well, he you know, he's my age. I could do that. Let me try to do something.
Right. So it wasn't so much another shoe guy or designer. Let's see.
Let's talk about brilliance, because I think you are obviously brilliant because you spend a couple of years at the greatest university on Earth called the University of Miami.
Yes. The You baby. I've sat in that board for 17 years. Shameless plug the Hurricane McCain's baby. And you were there a fun time when we actually won games and football?
I was actually there just a little bit before the great. Were you before Jimmie Johnson? Great. Hauchard Ellenberger. OK, Howard. A couple of years after I left, after I got kicked out.
But so not your brilliance has been established so many times. Yes.
Would you consider yourself a math or English person? I'm an English person. And so you always had you always hired great math.
Absolutely. Absolutely. That was on it. And that's one thing that I would say to entrepreneurs out there, if they're listening, is that knowing what you don't know is a great gift in business. So I'm a terrible math person. Love that. I have no interest in it. And I have these great people that I met this this Indian fellow named Arvind when I just started out from Mumbai. He's a Gujarat Gujarat Gujarati. And the guy just, you know, we would completely different, you know, completely straight laced.
And I'm wild man. And he just handled all the finances of the company interest. Marzel allowed to be creative. Right.
What if we ask someone who's worked with you for a decade, decade plus what type of boss you are? What would they answer? Truth serum.
Well, I don't know, you know, some might say I'm a big pain in the ass. Uh. You know, I'm I'm I'm not really tough, but I'm passionate, and if you're not sharing that passion with me, it disappoints me and I'm not really like I really, you know, care if you come in at nine, you know, that kind of thing. But if you know. But if you get there at 10, 15 and you're just an insanely passionate.
I love it. Right. But you could get there at eight thirty and be not passionate. And I'm sort of not into that. Let's talk about passion a little bit.
What does a day in a life look like for Steve Martin? Wake up. Walk me through. Waking up all the way to go to sleep one day.
Well, it's different now. You know, I had kids, so twins had twins. I have three kids and I have twins and then I had a baby girl. And so my life is a little different today.
And then I also got divorced. Mm hmm. So you're single? Yeah. Well, no, but, you know, I'm whatever. I'm divorced and. You know, so you've got to think about my kids a lot, I have my kids half the time. I have a great relationship with my ex-wife. What do they live? Well, we have my ex lives, you know, four or five blocks from me. Oh, great. So we manage that together.
And and. So I think about my kids a lot, I'm older with young kids. School, so that's a different it's a different thing, you know what I mean? Keeps you young, so. Yeah, but you don't have as much time. So thankfully, I built like we built a great team and Steve Madden. So it allows me the freedom to sort of in the old days, I did everything. I mean, I was touching every shoe.
Everything, you know, just shipping cases, issues, but today, because the great team that we have, I'm able to be sort of like at 5000 feet working on bigger things and. And so I'm able to go into the bakery and buy a fresh rye bread. So you an early risers or have fresh bread, right? So that's kind of like a difference today. So I get kind of gig that I like to wear. Make them fresh bagels in the morning.
That's awesome. Yeah. So that's sort of like I've sort of shifted on that kind of an early riser when I have to be.
Yeah, I'm more of a get up when I have to get up. I also have a I have a young kid now too. So yes, I do now have to have a choice. Yeah. Right. It's not not living on my own time anymore. Yeah. When you say that you are 5000 feet and you're able to look at everything, is that, does that mean that there could potentially be a shoe that goes to store and you haven't had anything to do with it?
Absolutely. OK, absolutely. You know, that difficult for you to walk around like, hey, what's this? I was on this.
You know, that might be the best thing that anybody's brought up in. Of course, we have a billion dollar company today. So, yes, it happens and it does bother me. But I also know that the people that I trained, everybody there, they're great. And if they like it, it's it's part of my DNA. Anyway, I'm still touching most of the shoes, but it's it's you have to let go if you want to get really big and you will find.
Yeah. My friend. Well, you're going to find as you build your, you know, empire, you're going to need people that you trust to like and it's hard to trust.
Yeah, I'm interested in this because if you see a shoe that you don't like that's out there and it doesn't do well, do you then say like, well, I would never have done that. And like, I can't believe you guys are doing this because I always find it interesting to see a boss graduate at that level where they can't touch everything.
But then still the bad things are like if there was an Olympics for second guessing, I would be the gold medal. OK, I just want to say that.
Yeah, but now, you know, you've got to trust your team and and it's working out well.
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Yeah, you just you just did a documentary where you went all into it. So one people obviously saw, Wolf, of Wall Street. And I think there was a little bit of a glorification of that era. Was it like were the parties as crazy as they made it seem?
They were. They were. They were. That was it was surprisingly accurate, that part. Yes, it was.
So just like extravagance and a lot of a lot of money and women and drugs and stuff like that. Yeah, it was pretty crazy.
So at what point when you're involved with these guys, do you have an inkling like, hey, this might not be on the up and up like this might not be going the way I thought it was there?
You know, I remember that Bear Stearns, which was a very credible Wall Street firm, did the clearing. So that was like a bit of that denial for like, oh, Bear Stearns does the clearing for Stratton Oakmont. So it must be OK. But after a while, you kind of know in your gut that something is not is that.
And then and then when the the roosters come home to cook and you're like, all right, I'm chickens coming home to roost, yet you're saying, oh, I got it right. There you go. On the roof. Come on.
The chickens coming home to roost when that happens and you're like, I might be facing jail, did you have like, this is all over for me or because. It's incredible to see you coming out of jail, your company bounces back almost immediately and what you're able to do in the second chapter, your life. Yeah. Was there a moment before you went to jail? Like it's it. That's it for me.
Oh, of course. You know you know, everybody watches as a kid movies about guys in prison. It's just the the worst imaginable besides death, you know. Prison is about as bad as it gets, and so you have this you know, you you know, you have that in your mind and and it is that it is accurate. It is the worst thing. Yeah, it is completely awful.
You you you denied all your you're not with the people. You're not with your loved ones, OK? And you know, you can't the food is terrible and you're you're denied your freedom. You can't leave. I mean, it's just it's about as horrible as you could imagine and. And the worst thing about prison, the worst thing about prison is that you're not with you know, you're not with your your people. That's the worst thing, because actually doing the time, you know, you can do time and human beings have the ability to adapt.
You know, you get into a little routine. I worked started working out. I never worked out before. I started lifting weights. You know, you get along, you know, you I read a lot, got with the guys, you know, and so now you come out of the shower.
It's heartbreaking, like, right. You come, people come visit you and then they go and then you go back to your little little bed, you know, and it's a very heartbreaking and I've seen like big muscular dudes built like a rod, you know, big strong guys get called up to the lieutenant's office in prison, gets served with divorce papers. Oh, I'm back. And tears big rock swelled up. Dudes come back crying. You know, they locked up for a year.
They maybe they got a three or four year sentence. Wife leaves him after a year. Come back crying. I've seen that. It's that I mean, it's just unbelievable.
How often are people, like, actually like fist fighting in there? You read a lot about that. So where I was. I saw one fight in two years, you know, I basically saw one of the guys, most guys who. You know, penitentiary, I don't know, that wasn't in the penitentiary, but in the low or the medium or the camps, mostly a lot of drug dealers, most of those prisons are filled with drugs, dealers and most guys, when they have five years or less, they're trying to go home.
Right. Trying to get in trouble.
And you it's you don't really see a lot when you come out of jail and you go back to run your wonderful company and you give some of your inmates, your fellow inmates jobs.
Yeah. Why? Well. You know, I lived with these guys and, you know, I try to help some of them and and, you know, it was good it was nice to give them a chance. Yeah. Some of them worked out really well. Some of them didn't. And. You know, it's a nice thing says a lot about you. It's a good thing I met some great guys, I met some great guys. And, you know, the big thing is the drug thing.
So they have very harsh drug sentences, you know, mostly black and Spanish guys, although there were some white drug dealers, the ecstasy guys are white. But, you know, they they they passed really what I think are racially discriminatory sentences, you know, particularly crack cocaine came with such a heavy sentence. I mean, I'm sure you know, but it's much more severe than powdered cocaine. Right? Who's who where is crack being sold in the hood?
So they're giving those people a lot of time. And the white people who are sniffing cocaine aren't getting a lot of time. It's not fair. They get huge amounts of time. These crack dealers, 20 years, you know, 20 year old kids getting 20 years. Wow. You know, your 18 year old kid getting, you know, 15 years in prison for selling crack, you know, stuff like that anyway. But there are entrepreneurs who are just selling illegal stuff.
Right. So I try to like, you know, talk to these guys about them. You know, I had a class in there and and, you know, I met some good guys, you know, and it's, you know, doesn't, you know, guys that fucked up. You know, I talk about that in the movie. Mm hmm. You know, really cool.
Guys, I saw you also had a quote that success is addicting to you. So is that has that changed at all as you get older, as you know, like you said, you're, you know, focus on your family a little bit more? Or is that same type of I'm addicted to success, to winning every single day in my industry? Does that stay with.
Well, we want to win. You know, I want to win, but. Yeah, I think so. Money, money is the score, right? I mean, money is a metaphor for success, you know, the pursuit of money. And it's the scorecard right now, you know, for everybody. And that's how we we do it. But it's it's not I mean, not to be like Gandhi right now, but like money will in and of itself will not make you happy.
But it's certainly nice to have money, you know, gives you freedom, you know, and stuff. And that's great.
But it will not in and of itself, you know, because it's got to be an inside job. Right. You know, so. That's what we think about, right? I mean, how do we happiness or I'm not even sure what that means, but, you know, it's such of today. That's what I think about more. I'm you know, I'm on the I'm on the you know, I'm in the eighth inning now. Right.
So, no, you know, but, you know, last year on the 13th hole. All right. Maybe I'm on the 14th hole. OK, fair enough. But I'm just saying, like, you start to think about that, you know.
So, yeah, thinking about that, I'm fearful, like I was thinking for many years, like I got to pay the rent. Yeah. I got to keep I'm worried about losing my house, that kind of stuff. But then not now I know that that's a little extreme. You know, so big cat thinks you're in the 14th.
I think you're like more like the 11th hole. OK, good. Yes. My question to you is, how do you want to be remembered professionally and personally?
Grateful, I want to be remembered, grateful and. You know, a good friend and a good parent and. And how do I want to be remembered, you know, yeah, that said, we I was a professional, you know, at my job, you know, you know, at the end of the day, you know, I make shoes. You know, to put food on my table. And to put food in my kids, feed my children, and that's what I do, I'm a professional, you know, I mean, I'm sure you've grappled with that as an athlete, you know, and you know, but, you know, at some point be said, this is what I do for a living, right?
Yeah, that's what I do. Yeah. So professional.
What about the legacy of the Steve Madden brand? Have you thought about how you wanted to keep going, you know, past you past when you're not involved at all? Or is it something that it's so intertwined with who you are?
No, it's going to outlive me for sure. And and. It's it's it's got a spirit and I have a whole bunch of young people that I work with that carry that on, we have a definite. You know, sort of philosophy in our company in a. Mantra. Mm hmm. And about who we are. And it seems simplistic sometimes, but, you know, everybody that's down with me and with the company shares that. Yeah, yeah.
But as we've got bigger, it's it's that's a challenge with a corporation, as you will find, because you seem to be growing like crazy that you've got to keep that spirit in your corporate that spirit that got you here now as you get bigger. How do I keep that spirit throughout the company? Because it's so big and you don't talk to everybody anymore. You know, there's there's a time when you go from knowing everybody that works for you and then, like, all of a sudden one day it's growing.
It's growing. And you don't know. Yeah. After the people, you never met them. And it's like, oh, yeah, no, we've had that happen in the last four.
Yeah. Well, we all moved here to New York four years ago with eight employees. Now we have 215. And that that happened where you're just like, wait, I don't know, there's people who you just don't know anymore. It's definitely changes who we are. But you're absolutely right, the spirit. And like, we've got to keep that spirit in. Yeah. The competitive drive. All right. My last question. Yes, sir. Are you intimidated by my sneakers?
And how much have sneakers kind of taken a bite out of your.
You know, I used to I never wear sneakers. Just I just want you guys to know I never wear sneakers I work out in. Don't think I'm crazy boots, I workout in boots. Oh, my God, swag, I love it. I work out in boots because in prison that's when I started. You had to wear steel toed boots to go to what we call the weight pile. It was a weight pile. And you weren't allowed in with sneakers because you dropped the weight on your foot, stuff like that.
So I always I workout with boots, but before that, even sneakers was the enemy of Steve Madden. But what happened was I admire Nike so much. By the way, just in case you want to know, I think Nike's just a fantastic company, but. We do make sneakers today. And we're killing it with sneakers. OK, I'm a big fan of Nike, we have a division called Greats that we just that we just acquired really hipster Brooklyn kind of hipster, actually.
I think we're talking to one of your old colleagues, Derek Jeter, about be doing something. And but so I love sneakers, but it's just not for me.
So how many days in your life since you were, let's say, 25, have you worn a pair of sneakers? You know, maybe three days, she said, I swear. That's crazy. I feel mushy, so. Oh OK, I what I do. So play a lot of golf. Yeah. A Rod and I are members of the same golf club in Florida and sometimes off the golf shoes that are kind of snickering. I may rock those a little bit.
I may wear those.
OK, but regular sneakers is not cleats, but like little things. Yeah. I kind of dig those. That's why I don't wear those. Yeah.
Steve, I got a little lightning rod round for you here. OK, what song do you sing in the shower to yourself. Oh. Oh, my God. I found myself singing the song Our House by Graham Nash, OK, and, you know, because I was with my kids and they were kind of like running around and, you know, that's song Cats in the yard, cats and the and then I actually saw I was watching a show called This is US and.
Yeah, but they do it in the show and it blew my mind. It was so well done. But like that song is in my head down matter Yankees. Yankees now, but I grew up with the 86 Mets of Keith Hernandez and Mookie Wilson were like Terrell Strawberry and Keith Hernandez and Doc. Yeah, and I saw Darryl recently. He's the best. He's great. I love looks great. He's an awesome dude. Did you party with him?
And then I did not. I wasn't.
Cool book or Kindle. What's that book or Kindle book. Give me one of your favorite books of all time. You're not going to believe this, I'm going to give you two books that I love. I'm going to give you two bucks for all four. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So I read that when I was a kid. Jim Bouton wrote it as a pitcher for the Yankees. It was the first sort of like hipster sports book ever written.
And it was like the every it was like a tale, almost like a tell all about Major League Baseball. And it was so funny and so cool. So that was my best book. Just I just love that book. And he wrote like a bunch of sequels after. Yeah. And you know, the other book that I love. The greatest novel I've ever read is The Godfather. Oh, wow, I know that people talk about the movie.
It was a great movie, you know, but the book was so amazing. You know, it's always I'm always looking for a book that is is like very interesting to read, but also kind of teaches you stuff. And I didn't know anything about that.
You and I are more like the movies. Yeah, well, the phone is ruining our reading the last two for me. Coffee or tea. Coffee. And if you had one last meal, what would that meal be. Steak and eggs. And you go, oh, OK.
Oh and I have one last last question. I give out Ma'aden codes online on Twitter. Yeah. For the game. OK, you want to do a little cross promo, maybe you give me Ma'aden codes for the shoe.
Yeah, sure. And I'll give those out. OK, let's do it like that. Would kind of confused, you know, to really dig your you're the pizza thing you guys do. Yeah.
To go do that. If I go with him he's about to go do that. I think I'll do that. I got a good joint for you that I order up from it. You should literally go with him right now.
Yeah, I love it because I've always been like a little bit of a fantasy. I love pizza. Yeah. And you know, somebody that's doing the work, man, do the work.
We're going to go crush one. Right. A-Rod is about to go hook up which people we're going to down the street. Right. Going down. I'll go down there with him. Yeah, I'm starving. Let's do it. All right.
Or Steve Madden, thank you so much. All right. You coming on the court. Thank you so much. Yeah, it's great fun. Thanks.