Steve Madden Launches 5Towns Records, and It's Not Just a Marketing Ploy

Shahar Azran/WireImage
 Steve Madden at Cipriani 42nd Street on Oct. 25, 2012 in New York City. 

At least, according to Madden's rep.

Footwear designer Steve Madden is putting his time and money behind a new independent label, 5Towns Records. The founder and former CEO of Steven Madden, Ltd. has partnered with Steve Feinberg of brand marketing firm 8spoke to launch the imprint, following a successful run of the Steve Madden Music initiative.

A label representative tells Billboard that 5Towns is Madden’s way of getting closer to the creative process in a dedicated way, and that it's "not a brand marketing effort like some of the other labels coming today. This is Steve and Steve putting in the work themselves."

Madden and Feinberg formed 5Towns in May and plan a move from Midtown Manhattan to the slightly more fashionable SoHo neighborhood in early 2017. As Page Six noted, the label's name is a nod to the area of Long Island where Madden grew up.

An announcement of the imprint's first two artist signings will be coming in the very near future, with several more in the works. The duo also plans on tailoring distribution arrangements as each project forms.

"They started the label together, and it's all hands on deck," the label said of the Steves. "They are listening to new music, meeting artists and plotting their approach every day."

Since launching, the Steve Madden Music concert series has featured artists including Cults, Santigold, XYLØ and Grimes. In 2014, the initiative staged an Iggy Azalea show at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg.