Business Communication Project
Steve Madden – A Crisis of the Sole
Master FABIZ English
Steve Madden is one of America's most successful shoe designers. Considered one of the fashion footwear moguls of the 21st century, Madden has been responsible for the design and marketing of the company's trendsetting shoes for the past two decades. His vision to give young, fashion forward men and women a unique way to express their individuality through style resulted in millions of customers worldwide and propelled his designs to the forefront of the fashion industry. It all started in 1990, with a mere $1,100 in his bank account, Madden started crafting shoe designs from his Queens-based factory and the Steve Madden brand was born. With a lot of courage, years of experience in the footwear industry, and unique creative designs, Steve Madden formed his own successful enterprise.A year later, Madden introduced a redefined version of platform shoes, resulting in one of the most spectacular success stories in the early 1990's. Inspired by his favorite rock and roll stars of the 1970s, the thick, chunky heel became Steve Madden's signature and a phenomenon in women's shoes.Madden's footwear vision is continuously evolving. Steve once said, "What inspires me is what I see people wearing on the streets of the world from New York to London and beyond. I get my ideas and inspiration from pounding the pavement all over the world. Today, fashion is dictated by individual style. To me, the fashion of the future is anything that a young guy or girl feels good wearing as long as it's put together in the right way." (www.stevemadden .com) Today, the Steve Madden brand represents a lifestyle. It is about embracing fashion while still maintaining that funky independence that first defined the brand 20 years ago. Expanding now into apparel and other accessories such as dresses, handbags, belts, sunwear, cold weather, outerwear and hosiery, Steve Madden is always looking toward to the future. As 2013 begins, more exciting opportunities are on the horizon including re-packaging, new store design rollout and expansion in global markets. The days when the future did not seem so bright
In April 2002, Mr. Madden found that neither his investors nor federal judges take too kindly to stock manipulation and securities fraud. Steve Madden's talents as a shoe designer helped him build a 240 million dollar empire in his own name. But by his own admission, that wasn't enough -- he was greedy for more. His greed cost him about eight million dollars and control of the very company that brought him such riches. Madden was sentenced in 2002 to 41 months in prison for his role in a stock swindle scheme coordinated by the now-closed brokerage, Stratton Oakmont. His wrongdoings include conspiring to manipulate the stock prices of more than 20 companies, including his own. And, he did it at the expense not only of the public but his own investors who lost more than 100 million. Besides paying restitution, Madden had to resign as CEO of Steve Madden Ltd and leave the board of directors. He is also barred from holding a position as officer for seven years. However, he did retain a creative position until his prison sentence began that fall and will likely fill that capacity upon release later this spring. Meanwhile, those left to keep the company going in his absence quickly started their damage control efforts. A new board of directors was quickly assembled. Among those elected were Madden's brother and a corporate accounting guru. Once their former leader began repaying his debt to society, company heads began cleaning Steve Madden Limited's financial house; making sure stock prices accurately reflected the health of the business. The company fully cooperated with the SEC's...