Steve Madden (born 1958) is an American fashion designer and businessman. He is most well known as the founder and former CEO of Steven Madden, Ltd., a publicly traded footwear company. Madden was born in Far Rockaway, Queens, and has Irish and Jewish ancestry. He grew up in adjoining Lawrence and graduated from the local high school in Nassau County, New York. The youngest of three brothers, he started the company with $1,100 in 1990 by selling shoes out of the trunk of his car. Maddens financial affairs were closely entangled with Long Island "pump and dump" brokerage house Stratton Oakmont, cofounded by Maddens childhood friend Danny Porush.