Women of the world owe Steve Madden a debt of gratitude. With only a thousand dollars and a desire to let women express individuality through their shoes, Madden singlehandedly built an empire out of creative and feminine footwear designs. Not long ago, our choices were limited. Black or brown? Leather or canvas? When Steve Madden launched his company and offered us purple suede boots, sparkly ballet flats, and colorful floral pumps, the streets and sidewalks came alive. With the launch of a diffusion line—and a foray into accessories, hosiery, and clothing—Madden’s designs have gotten even funkier and more fun.