VMSD - February 2014 - (Page 68)

co CH c cheCking Out o Interview by Steve Kaufman Jane Gershon Weitzman Her new book explores her various love affairs: with art, store windows, shoes and Stuart You're known for creating store windows for Stuart Weitzman shoes that were more art than merchandise. Where did that begin? In Chicago. We opened at 900 North Michigan in 1999, during the Cows on Parade festival. An artist put Swarovski crystals on our cow and then created a whole window around that cow, even painting cows on some of the shoes. And you began doing these amazing art creations of shoes in all your windows? Nearly 90 percent of the store windows I've seen are just merchandise. To me, retailing is a creative endeavor and I wanted to do things other people didn't do. Did the windows attract store traffic? We think so. Tim Fortuna, who was our last visual guy, and I used to love standing on Madison Avenue and listening to the comments. People got the joke? Most of them. Invariably, of course, someone would come in and say, "I'd love to see that paper shoe in a 7." But it had brought her into the store. the shoes make up quite an art collection. Do you still have them all? In the beginning, I sold them off and used the money for the next window. I had no idea that the company would ever grow so much. I certainly never dreamed that there would be a book. And I never thought of them as an "art collection." I thought of them merely as builders of the Stuart Weitzman brand. How did the collection evolve? We used to have a branding campaign called "The Art of Stuart Weitzman," photographing Stuart's shoes with artists' sculptures. I traveled around with a young Israeli photographer named Tali Katzurin to find sculptured pieces to use in the ads. I got to know artists, who eventually were asked to make fantasy shoes for our windows. Is your book about all the art shoes you've featured in your window? Yes, of more than a thousand that we actually used. They're made of everything - ceramics, glass, twigs, feathers, paper, little metal washers and springs. And I think it's the shapes and little bits of whimsy that make them so memorable. Several reviews of your book have cited Lady Gaga. She has certainly brought attention to outrageous footwear. I don't think she could wear our shoes. The important thing to remember is they're not footwear, they're art. How did you and Stuart meet? We were living in the same apartment building in Boston. He was in his family's shoe manufacturing business. I was managing a local bookstore. And now you're back in the book world. Life can be funny - and unpredictable. x 68 FEBRUARY 2014 | vmsd.com SHOe: LuCaS ZarebinSki, new YOrk; POrtrait: MeLani LuSt, new YOrk The Shoes in Stuart Weitzman's Windows You've accumulated a lot of these artist-designed shoes in your new book, "Art & Sole." Yes, the book comprises about 150 different art shoes by different artists that we've used over the years. http://www.vmsd.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - February 2014

VMSD - February 2014
CONTENTS
FROM THE EDITOR
VMSD EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
THE GOODS
DESERT OASIS
MIXED MESSAGES
IT’S A WRAP
YOUNG, QUIRKY AND COLORFUL
HUNTING FOR THE PERFECT EXPERIENCE
SHOWROOM
AD INDEX
CHECKING OUT

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