By  on January 31, 2011

NEW YORK — Rather than wait out the still-stalled economy, Steve Madden is on the hunt for new labels and is ramping up Betsey Johnson’s business.

Last fall Steven Madden Ltd. took over a $48.8 million loan to Johnson’s firm and absolved it in exchange for ownership of the brand’s intellectual property. Madden is so comfortable with the designer’s stewardship that he will be at a Las Vegas shoe show instead of her Feb. 14 runway show at Lincoln Center. “The last thing she needs is Steve Madden there,” he said during an interview last week.

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