Steve Madden, The King of Collaborations

Let me paint you a picture. It is 2 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon and the mall parking lot is packed! The heat is palpable, bouncing form asphalt onto the surrounding palm trees and back. The absence of parking spots makes you wonder what on earth could possibly be happening inside. You consider turning the car around but instead decide to follow an unassuming shopper to her minivan. At last, you arrive at Dillard’s…


Once inside you see a huge line of girls coiling their way around the prom dresses and fading into the displays in the shoe department. A line that seems to be growing by the minute. The girls are bursting with anticipation and the music being played by the DJ just feet away only adds to the excitement of it all. So what IS happening here? All this commotion is for an event, an event being staged for the larger-than-life shoe designer Steve Madden and the fans are as eager to meet ‘the man’ as they are to shop. But this is no ordinary designer promotion. It is nothing like the posh Fashion’s Night Out soirees in Soho where only a select few are let in. No, this event is for the masses and everyone is welcome.

I find it sweet to be surrounded by so many smiling faces. But I am on a mission. I’m here to talk to Steve Madden himself and get the scoop on his latest collection. As far as interviews go, this one is short and sweet. I learn that Steve never stops working. That there is no set time between collections to even begin brainstorming. Only that the brainstorming doesn’t have a beginning or an end. Which means that Steve Madden never stops! I would be lying if I told you that I wasn’t disappointed to hear that Mr. Madden doesn’t take a ritual trip or have a muse of sorts to get him inspired to design, but in truth is, he doesn’t. In fact, this designer has the shoe business down to a science. Where most shoe makers seek accolades, Steve Madden looks for numbers. When his shoes sell, that makes up the total number of people he has made happy and only then does he consider the collection a success.

What I also learn is that the collaboration model has been really good to Steve Madden. With names like Keyshia Cole, Kylie & Kendall Jenner and now Chiara Ferragni from The Blonde Salad, Steve Madden intends to continue these types of partnerships. So I bet you are wondering who’s next. Although I was able to secure this information, unfortunately it is still an industry secret. But I will say this, she is a blogger and with over 500K followers on Instagram there’s a very good chance that you are already following her. So, enjoy the photos from the event and just know that the next collaboration will not disappoint!

These pictures were made possible by the talented Mayra Roubach from