Iconic designer Steve Madden is in Redmond for a screening of the documentary about his life, MADDMAN: The Steve Madden Story.
But it’s far from his first time in Western Washington. He owns two businesses in Bellevue and Seattle, and Nordstrom was the first major retailer to carry his shoes.
During an interview at a café, he admitted to always keeping an eye out for people wearing his brand.
“Oh yeah I'm always looking, I'm always looking,” Madden said. "It feels great, I love it, I never get tired of it."
The documentary explores the idea that, while his shoes are ubiquitous, most people still think Madden is a brand rather than a person.
But the man who’s devoted his life to dressing others is critical of his own appearance on screen.
"It’s a compelling story but I hate the way I look, I hate it. And I can't get them to re-shoot anything because it costs too much money,” he said, laughing.
Part of Madden’s life was already documented on film, in The Wolf of Wall Street. The movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio was based on the firm, and investments, that ultimately landed Madden in prison.
He served his time, overcame addiction, and rebuilt his company - which earned more than $1-billion last year.
Still, Madden says he still works every day like he needs to make rent.
"I feel like putting a glass jar out, like a piano player, ‘Put the tips in there, baby, I'm working,’" he said. “I keep that alive because it keeps it all in perspective."
MADDMAN: The Steve Madden Story can be pre-ordered on iTunes and is scheduled for release in December.
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