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Trendsetters at Work, Steve Madden

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

Prepare to meet the man behind the shoes.

These days, Steve Madden is more than just a household name. The shoe designer's eponymous line is one of the biggest in the footwear biz, and after being christened the fastest growing retailer in 2015 by Forbes, it's apparent that customers are just as head-over-heels for Mr. Madden's designs than ever.

While maintaining his shoe empire—and, you know, consistently creating best-sellers—keeps him, we found time to catch up with Steve himself on everything from his first gig in the footwear market to this fall's biggest shoe trends. Read on to get the scoop!

Trendsetters at Work, Steve Madden

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

What was your first job?
I was a stock boy at the Lawrence Shoe Center, a shoe store on Long Island.

How did you get started in your career?
After the Lawrence Shoe Center, I worked at two great stores: Toulouse and Jildor. That's when I fell in love with shoes.

What is a typical day like for you?
I work all day, squeeze in a round of golf once in a while and go to the gym when I can.

Tell us about your office décor.
In my office I have mostly shoes and pictures of my family, especially the one I look at every day of my mother, my two brothers, and me.

Do you have a workspace at home or in different cities? How do they differ from your main office?
Today your work is wherever your phone is.

What's the best part about your job?
Knowing I provided the soil that led to great ideas and great products.

Trendsetters at Work, Steve Madden

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

What shoe trends are catching on this fall? And what footwear styles are you ready to say goodbye to?
Active wear is in, and some platform shoes are going bye-bye.

When you're designing a shoe, what are the most important factors you take into consideration?
How it's going to look is most important.

Which three pairs of shoes should every girl have in her closet?
Ankle boots, pumps, sandals and cool sneakers.

What's the one item in your closet that you could never go without?
My work boots.

Trendsetters at Work, Steve Madden

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
From my mother: "Chew your food."

Who are some of your career heroes?
Jack Bienenfeld, owner of Jildor, and Stanley Framm, who had a shoe store on 34th Street in Manhattan.

What's the most daring career risk you've ever taken at work?
Rolling out new stores and finding someone to be CEO of the company other than myself.

Trendsetters at Work, Steve Madden

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

Finish the sentences below:
Today for lunch I had… a salad with grilled chicken.
The first website I log onto every day is… I always listen to music first.
If I wasn't doing this job, I would… a golfer.
My favorite place to visit is… Los Angeles.
The book I'm reading right now is… a book on George Harrison and Men in Green, which is a book about golf by Michael Bamberger.

Trendsetters at Work, Steve Madden

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment