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Weitzman, Stuart

"I'm a real person making a real product, not a brand name hiding behind a corporation."

Stuart Weitzman's father, Seymour Weitzman, started a shoe factory in Haverhill, Massachusetts in the late 1950's. His shoes were known under the label "Seymour Shoes" and "Mr. Seymour". Stuart Weitzman began designing shoes for his father's business in the early 1960's, when Stuart was in his 20's, but he was not planning to follow in his father's footsteps although he always sketched as a hobby.

Stuart graduated George W. Hewlett High School in 1958 and the Wharton School of Business in 1963 and was originally headed for Wall Street. When Seymour Weitzman died in 1965, Stuart took over the business with his older brother, Warren Weitzman. They sold the business to a company in Spain in 1972, but Stuart continued to design shoes for the company. In 1994, he bought back the business, but continues to manufacture his shoe designs in Spain.

Stuart Weitzman's trademark is the use of unique materials - cork, vinyl, Lucite, bamboo, wallpaper, and 24-karat gold and other exotics. His shoes are now sold in 45 countries — everywhere from France to the West Indies to Japan. Combining an eye for beauty with the technical expertise of a master craftsman, he creates more than 300 new styles of shoes and handbags a year. Each is a monument to fashion and innovation.

Despite his ever-growing retail base, and his own burgeoning celebrity, Weitzman remains remarkably hands-on and is intimately involved in all aspects of production. Weitzman is one of the few designers who is also a pattern-maker, and he personally sees his products through the entire manufacturing process. Weitzman spends half of his time overseeing operations in his factories in Elda, Spain — where his shoes have been made for over 30 years, ever since a group of shoes made there caught Stuart's eye with their exceptional quality and workmanship. This extraordinary attention to detail is the kernel of the Weitzman allure. Women get as excited about a casual slide as they do about the most dramatic pave pump. Each creation transcends mere glamour and becomes a statement in quality and artistry.

Stuart Weitzman earned worldwide popularity and his shoes have been featured from magazines to movies, and are even sighted at the Oscars and the Emmys. Five years ago Stuart Weitzman began hosting a yearly celebrity shoe auction to raise fund for breast cancer research.

In 2003 Harrods department store in London displayed the creation of Stuart Weitzman, a pair of shoes inspired by the shoes worn in 'The Wizard of Oz' by Judy Garland. Woven with thread of platinum and studded with 642 rubies, the price tag on the world's most expensive shoes was $1.6 million USD.

In 2004 Stuart Weitzman did it again, creating the 'Cinderella Slippers’ that boasted 565 platinum-set diamonds including one large 5 karat chunk of ice. They were worn to the 2004 Oscars by Alison Krauss and can be yours for only $2 million USD.