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Stuart Weitzman Holdings, LLC

Whisper "Stuart Weitzman" to any discerning shoe-lover, and you'll inspire a reverie. Sumptuous pumps . . . glittering mules . . . studded stilettos - Weitzman creations are the stuff of dreams for women around the world.

Frequently seen on runways and red carpets, Weitzman shoes literally make headlines. Often, they deserve a spotlight of their own. Die-hard devotees have even penned poems and composed songs to celebrate their passion for Weitzman styles.

The man behind the mystique is Stuart Weitzman - founder of Stuart Weitzman Inc. 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.

"Every day, every woman who walks into a Stuart Weitzman store will be the most important customer we've ever had."

Although his father was a shoe designer - Seymour Weitzman was known to shoppers as "Mr. Seymour" - Stuart was originally headed for Wall Street: "I had not considered following in my father's footsteps although I always sketched as a hobby." But his designer's instincts soon took over and at age 20 he surprised his father with a sample shoe the factory made from one of his sketches. His father proudly added it to the Mr. Seymour line, where it sold very well - so well that his father had "Stuart's first shoe" bronzed. Goodbye Wall Street, hello Seventh Avenue! Stuart Weitzman's trademark use of unique materials (name another shoemaker who has worked with cork, vinyl, Lucite, wallpaper, and 24-karat gold!) and his legendary attention to detail have garnered him and his company a global following. His shoes are now sold in 45 countries - everywhere from France to the West Indies to Japan. Shoppers in the U.S. forage for his footwear in major department stores and fine retail shops, as well as in his free-standing boutiques, located in several major cities across the country. With plans to open additional signature stores in the U.S., Weitzman is also expanding his retail footprint abroad. The flagship European Stuart Weitzman boutique is now open for business in Zurich. And to the delight of his clientele, Weitzman debuted this online boutique in 1998. Featuring selected styles from his extensive collections of shoes and handbags, the Web site makes the Weitzman experience accessible to any woman with a mouse, a modem and a serious obsession with shoes.

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

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. It's not unusual for Weitzman to spend half of his 100-plus-hour work week 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.

No wonder Weitzman women are a little obsessed!

  • Company Industry:Retail / Wholesale
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