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Madden said he flipped Stratton Oakmont shares for a quick profit, and shared his take with executives at Porush’s company.
“Oh, God, it was a terrible mistake,” Madden said. In May 2001, Madden pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering and securities fraud and was later sentenced.
After Madden was released, he returned to the business, even though he’d been disconnected from New York culture for some time.
“My impulse was to jump right in, but I had to lay back, watch, learn and see what needed to be fixed,” Madden said. “So much of design is context.”
While he’s rebuilding his brand, he continues to be dogged by a reputation as a copycat. In 2009, he was sued by Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga. Both suits have been settled and Madden has showed no regret.
“I am not embarrassed by it whatsoever,” he said. “I mean, George Harrison was sued for ‘My Sweet Lord,’ right? And John Lennon was sued over ‘Come Together.’ ”
At least the Olsen twins, who design the trendy Elizabeth and James and Olsenboye lines, are firmly in his camp. “Steve knows more about the shoe market than anybody,” Mary-Kate Olsen said.