If a loser #$%$ like Steve Madden can be made famous, why not Joe Dahan?
Steve Madden is a household name in American footwear, and he got his start at a shoe store where he worked as a teenager. The experience of working at the store left an impression on him, as he recalls. "My boss was 26. He had his own business. He was this really cool guy. He drove a Mercedes. He was my idol." Madden attended the University of Miami for two years until his father stopped paying his tuition, a punishment for his poor grades. He went back into retail fashion, working in a clothing boutique, and then for a wholesaler of women’s boots. Madden launched an unsuccessful line of footwear with a friend, but tried again in 1990, this time successful. He sold his initial run of shoes out of the trunk of his car, and achieved growing success from that point. Steve Madden’s career has not been without hiccups, and he was convicted of securities fraud in 2002, losing his title as CEO of his company and sentenced to 41 months in prison. After his release from prison, Steve Madden, Ltd was named Company of the Year in 2006 at the Footwear News Achievement Awards, and Madden marked the occasion as a chance to improve his company’s image. Despite this major setback, Steve Madden, Ltd boasted revenues of $431 million in 2007, a major feat for the shoemaker without a formal education