Behind the scenes of the SS 2011 shoot
As a brand, Stuart Weitzman is a study in contrasts. It's synonymous with beautiful designer shoes while lacking the air of pretentious exclusivity that pervades other brands. The shoes themselves are made in Spain and boast superior quality but aren't unattainably expensive. Heels can be sky-high yet never compromise their wearer's comfort. And whereas some labels don't make anything smaller than a 5, Stuart Weitzman shoes come in sizes 4-12 and 4 different widths, ensuring women of all shapes and sizes will find a good fit. Add to that the bewildering number of designs that come out each year (over 600), and women are sure to find a shoe to love.
Vancouver women will discover exactly what makes Stuart Weitzman shoes so special when Stuart Weitzman's first Vancouver boutique opens in Pacific Centre on the weekend of March 18th. In honour of this occasion, I had a chance to ask the designer himself some questions. Read on to find out what Stuart Weitzman thinks are the best and worst things a shoe designer can do, his junk food guilty pleasures, his fondest childhood memory (hint: it has nothing to do with shoes), and what fans can expect in his latest collection.
Stuart Weitzman has its roots in your father's Massachusetts-based company, Seymour Shoes. Out of all the things you could've learned from your father about running a business or making the perfect shoe, what are the truths and principles you still keep close to heart today?
I learned from my father that if you continue to produce a good quality product, people will come back again and again as they know they can depend on your product to suit their needs and lifestyle.
What's your fondest memory of growing up as the son of a shoemaker?
My fondest memory...my dad took me to the Dodger–Yankee World Series game in which Jackie Robinson stole home under Yogi Berra’s glove.
You've said that "The first element for me is always the woman" when designing. Who are the women--past or present, or the women in your own life--who inspire you most in your designs?
Honestly that woman I speak of really has a hundred faces… the celebrity, the career woman, the mother, the daughter, the trendsetter, the bride, the loyal customer, etc.
The first shoe that you ever designed was bronzed. Are there any shoes from past or present that would also be worthy of the bronzing treatment?
I guess I would have to say our 'Alex' wedge. It has been our top seller for the spring collection these past 3 years as well as a celebrity favorite, especially with Jennifer Aniston. It’s perfect for summer as its neutral tone goes with any outfit, plus its versatility and comfort make it easy to go from day to night.
Can you give us a sneak peek of what we can expect from Stuart Weitzman in spring 2011?
Textured detailing, especially braiding, raffia and wovens. Bold bright colors and not just one hot hue for the season, but experimenting with using them all together in a beautiful hand-painted python. Plus we added more chic summer flat sandals to the collection, as it is becoming more and more the summer staple of fashionable women around the globe.
Fill in the blank: "The best thing a shoe designer can do is..."
Make women feel empowered when wearing his or her designs.
Fill in the blank: "The worst thing a shoe designer can do is..."
Favourite music to listen to while working?
Show tunes from the golden era (Berlin, Rodgers and Hammerstein).
Fill in the blank: "When I'm not working,
I cannot be found.
Tootsie Rolls and Mallomars.
P.S. Can't get enough of Stuart Weitzman? Check out I'm the It Girl's interview.