NEW YORK — Stuart Weitzman is aiming high, and not just with the 6-inch platform booties that are an integral part of his new SW1 collection in stores this fall.
The line is Weitzman’s first attempt to deliver accessories at a designer level, where retail prices for shoes and handbags will be on par with the likes of Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo. SW1 creative director Alvaro Gonzalez spent eight years as accessories design director at Choo before leaving in March, taking some time off and joining Weitzman on this venture. It’s also the first major initiative for Weitzman since The Jones Group Inc. acquired a majority stake in the brand last year.
In Weitzman’s view, he’s just giving the market what it’s been asking for.
“I have had so many requests [from retailers] — I can’t even count — who want more upscale and exclusive product,” Weitzman told WWD. “[So I thought] why not take it international with a collection of shoes, get some bags, [get] a guy to be creative director? And I own my own factories.”
He revealed that the “secret to his success” is exactly that: owning factories. Weitzman owns 11 (nine for footwear and two for handbags) — in Alicante, Spain, where he employs 3,300 workers in a city of about 9,300 people.
Styles in the SW1 collection will retail from about $595 for satin and suede dress shoes and pumps to $795 for a bootie to $995 for a full boot — a bit higher than the prices in Weitzman’s main line, where pumps average in the $300 range. Materials such as suede, leather, nubuck and satin — juxtaposed with elements such as metal, natural shells or plexi mother-of-pearl heels with intricate patterns (inspired by The Duomo, according to Gonzalez) — are present in the collection of about 50 shoes.
“[We will] add elements to the designer level that I don’t believe are there,” Weitzman said, holding up a navy suede bootie with architectural elements that has two platforms (one visible and one hidden) for comfort. “We will bring reordering, wearability, supercomfort and great fashion [to this category.]”
As for handbags — the designer’s first official attempt at creating a full collection for the category — there are three themes. The first is a selection of soft neutrals, such as dusty rose, mauve, dove gray and the palest of yellows fashioned into feminine, structured frame bags in various silhouettes, including ones sized for a laptop or tablet. Then there are the exotics. The python shoulder bags and envelope clutches are done in a palette of deep burgundy, plum, amber, green and navy, some with chain straps that are black-python-covered metal links. The third theme is a collection of more basic black-and-brown totes, day bags, envelope clutches and minaudières. Handbags start at $800, and no style costs more than $1,500 — even the exotics. For the first season, though, handbags will only be available in the U.S. and non-European markets, while footwear will be sold globally.
The collection will debut in late February to press and buyers in Milan during fashion week, where the brand’s European headquarters are located. The American headquarters are on Madison Avenue here and remaining markets will be serviced from both offices.
Although he has yet to reveal a U.S. retail partner for the line’s domestic launch — a key strategy with SW1 is maintaining an exclusive retail distribution — Weitzman confirmed the collection will be carried in Selfridges in London and Holt Renfrew in Canada.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)