Interview:: Stuart Weitzman Talks About His New Handbag Collection & More
Stuart Weitzman. He needs little introduction. When you mention his name the first thing that comes to mind is shoes…luxurious shoes. His shoes have graced many celebrities on the red carpet to well-heeled women in the boardroom. I am a huge fan of his designs and was excited to sit down and chat with him about his new handbag collection debuting this fall, the new store opening in Palo Alto and of course shoes!
You were born into the shoe business. Did you always know that you wanted to take over the family 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 have never looked back.
What is your first fashion memory?
I remember watching the Wizard of Oz and seeing those Ruby shoes not being able to take my eyes off them.
How do you distinguish yourself from other shoe designers within your market? You have die-hard patrons. What makes women loyal to Stuart Weitzman?
I am one of the few designers who is also a pattern-maker, so I personally see my products through the entire manufacturing process. The Spanish manufacturing methods have taught me how to ensure the best quality and craftsmanship for each product.
I have gained a reputation for making highly fashionable yet comfortable footwear designs that make all women smile. Simply put, make a beautiful shoe that is also comfortable, and women will wear it.
In your expert opinion, what are the three styles of shoes every woman should own?
1. Stiletto heel –because they can make a good pair of legs look great and a great pair look fabulous
2. Fabulous evening shoe – because you never know when that special occasion will arise and you want to be prepared with the perfect shoes
3. Great flat boot – recommend a boot with stretch in the back so it can fit almost any calf and still look stylishly comfortable
What is the most important consideration when designing a woman’s shoe?
I design for the modern woman… who wants high fashion yet doesn’t have to sacrifice comfort.
You are opening your next store in Palo Alto. Why did you choose this location?
Palo Alto is a city that has always intrigued me with its unique background and fashionable charm. When the opportunity arose to expand the business within the city, I jumped at the chance.
You stopped designing handbags in 2010, why have you decided to re-launch handbags to the brand? What is your favorite handbag of the collection? Why?
I love accessories and think the ultimate “fashion companion” to the shoe is the handbag. I really wanted to refocus my attention back to designing elegant handbags with a stylish attitude that I could be proud to put my name on.
What are the top handbag trends we can expect to see this fall?
Top handle bowler bags, doctor bags or dome shaped bags are really trending strong this fall.
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.
In three words describe the Stuart Weitzman woman.
Playfully glamorous & modern
Thank you to Stuart Weitzman for taking the time to chat. For those that live in the Bay Area, the new Palo Alto location is slated to open mid July. Check back as we will have more details about the opening.