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Stuart Weitzman Marks First NYFW Presentation, New Designer

Stuart Weitzman Marks First NYFW Presentation, New Designer
From WWD - February 9, 2018

Stuart Weitzman ushered in a new era on Thursday.A duet of events were staged at Seagram Building restaurant The Pool, celebrating the debut collection of newly appointed creative director Giovanni Morellia seasoned accessories designer who has created cult products for luxury brands including Chlo, Marc Jacobs and Loewe.In the afternoon, Stuart Weitzman marked its first fashion week presentationwhere Morelli and chief executive officer Wendy Kahn revealed a modernized assortment of boots, flats, heels and handbags, many incorporating fur and lacing details. In the evening, a cocktail party celebrating the collection drew Solange Knowles, Camilla Belle, Nina Agdal and Doutzen Kroes.Morelli said of the brand and his plans, Weitzman I think has solid backgroundin boots obviously and sandals [in particular]. The sense of craftsmanship behind the brand is very solidits a good platform to start with. I want to add another layer of fashion but always with a sense of reality. Its important you can wear all the shoes.In January 2015, Coach Inc., now known as Tapestry, acquired the Stuart Weitzman brand from Sycamore Partners for $574 million. At the time, Weitzman himself pledged to gradually phase out his involvement in the label over the course of two years, according to a source.Morelli, who in May relocated to New York for the job, was tasked with creating a new range of handbags for the Weitzman label. Morellis hero concept for the collection is a series of bags resembling shoeboxesoffered in sizes ranging from a miniature key fob to a medium-scale shoulder bag. Retail prices span $400 to $1,200.Morelli demurred to reveal what percentage of sales the brand projects bags will eventually take, noting: Its a really early stage at the moment. We just started with a few styleswe need to give an identity of bags because obviously there are a lot of bags in the market. The idea of shoebox as a bag is a bit ironic.The concept of products, like bags, offered in an array of incremental sizes is something Morelli plans to implement more broadly. The strategy of the brand is, of course, to give a more cohesive point of view, but also to create wardrobe essentials. I would really like to have, in-store, pumps with different heel heightsjust like with jeans how you want slim fit and regular fit offered in the store. This sense of offering is a bit American, which I like, he said.Kahn said of the brands strategy for introducing newness, Its given us an opportunity to go from a brand reputation of wonderful quality and craftsmanship with a very broad appeal, to be able to enter the next chapter. For us, its about an evolution of product. To take whats been achieved and accomplished and evolve that with Giovannis design details to start attracting a new customer.To further modernize the brands visual resonance, the Weitzman label has been assigned a new signature colorwhich it calls blue violetthat blankets everything from its insoles to shoe boxes. The brands logo has been updated with a slightly thicker font. A new store concept utilizing the blue violet tone and plexiglass shoeboxes as sculptural installations has been recently unveiled in the brands Beverly Hills boutique.At first glance, retailers appeared enthusiastic about Morellis inaugural outing. Neiman Marcus president and chief merchandising officer Jim Gold said at the Weitzman cocktail, Stuart has been a great business for us for a long time. We have a predominately high-end designer base and Stuart is one of the few brands we sell that is just a cut below the designer price point. It really resonates with our customer because they do certain things so wellparticularly the boot category. Its great price value, really good designs, on-trend, good quality, super comfortable.That said, we are in a business that thrives on change and newness, so having a new designer perspective, along with the fundamentals of brand, is great. We love ithe is a super talented designer.Actress Camilla Belle was among the consumers intrigued by the new collection: I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and its a brand you are always aware of. The new collection is fantastic; you get to see a whole new twist and aesthetic of the brand. Im very excited to wear the lace-up, pointy-toe booties.

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