Stuart Weitzman S/S 2011
My relationship with Stuart Weitzman is a special one. It marked my first designer shoe purchase, the life-changing moment when I handed over $400+ for a pair of shoes…well, black soft-like-butter ankle boots to be exact. Many others have come up since but those remain special.
Stuart Weitzman needs no introduction. Chances are you have ogled a shoe or two bearing his name. Unlike many, Weitzman didn’t dream of becoming a designer; instead, he was destined to become one. His father, Mr. Seymour, started the eponymous shoe label in 1950s. After he passed, young Stuart took over the family business and the rest, as they say, is history. Now in his late 60s, he continues to awe women of all ages with his contemporary designs and innovative use of material. The current spring collection is a beautiful array of earthy tones in wood, cork, canvas rope and leather. Silhouettes evoke the 1970s with chunky platforms and wedge espadrilles. To celebrate the opening of his first Vancouver store on March 19th, I caught up with Stuart Weitzman for a quick chat about his spectacular career, inspirations and his current collection.
You were born into the shoe business. It was originally your father’s business. Did you always know that you wanted to take over the business or was there another career you had your heart set on?
I originally had planned to conquer Wall Street right out of school, but unexpected circumstances led me to join the family business to help out and I have never looked back.
What was your first fashion memory?
Marilyn Monroe enjoying the subway breeze in The Seven Year Itch.
Your shoes are sold in 45 countries. Do you design for a specific woman in mind?
I design for the modern woman who wants high fashion yet doesn’t want to sacrifice comfort.
How do you distinguish yourself from other shoe designers within your market? You have die-hard patrons. What makes women loyal to Stuart Weitzman?
You shoes are known for their exquisite quality. I’ve had my Stuart Weitzmans for years now and they still look amazing. Can you tell me a bit about your manufacturing process?
Our products are manufactured in our own factories in Spain, and have been for over 30 years proudly. The quality of our workmanship and attention to detail with each product are elements that are never compromised.
In your expert opinion, what are the three styles of shoes every woman should own?
Soft as butter boots, black modern pumps and whatever helps her feel sexy and beautiful.
What are some of the styles that you particularly love for the S/S 2011 season? There is a bit of a fun 70s vibe, no?
Yes, the 70s have returned, big bottom wedges are at the top of the list but so are cute cool flats.
What has been your most cherished career moment?
The Million Dollar evening sandal I created that was worn on red carpet at the 2002 Oscars.
Describe Stuart Weitzman in three words.
Brand: whimsical, modern and always comfortable.
Man: optimistic, passionate and fatherly.
Vancouver’s first Stuart Weitzman store opens on Saturday, March 19th in Pacific Centre (right next to Michael Kors).
All images courtesy of Stuart Weitzman.