Stuart Weitzman is in revision mode, now under the tutelage of chief executive officer Eraldo Poletto and head of design Edmundo Castillo.
Today, the accessories label — a subsidiary of Tapestry Inc. — releases a new look for its advertising and marketing activities, this one reflecting a sense of warmth and inclusivity.
Featuring Kendall Jenner, Willow Smith, Yang Mi and Jean Campbell, the company took its latest campaign — promoting its famous ‘Nudist’ collection of skin tone footwear — as an opportunity to promote diversity and a global approach.
“We are a global brand, we have a global customer — there are no boundaries. As a company we need to operate thinking about a global customer,” said Poletto, noting that the Nudist collection will soon expand to include seven variations of a nude palette and various heel heights, thus catering to a wider spectrum of client needs.
The brand is currently in reset mode following a series of changes in its executive ranks. In April 2018, Poletto stepped in as ceo — succeeding Wendy Kahn, who had been with the firm since 2016. The following month brought the ouster of creative director Giovanni Morelli — who resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Morelli had been the brand’s first creative director since Stuart Weitzman himself left the brand in 2017. Castillo stepped into the head design role shortly after Morelli’s departure and has yet to unveil his first full collection for the brand.
Tapestry is currently in a quiet period, and thus Poletto was only able to shed light on limited brand activities.
Charting forward, the company will return to its “core values,” with a focus on femininity, comfort and craftsmanship — touch points that Poletto feels are elemental for an American brand. “There are not many American brands in shoes. The visibility is very American, very practical and dynamic with a European aesthetic and attention to quality and craftsmanship. Comfort is a key asset, and I think these are true elements of a recipe for something very modern and contemporary — we have leveraged that,” he said.
“I think it’s about the product. I never like the phrase ‘To go back.’ I think more about respecting where you come from and moving forward with what customers desire and want. For us that’s very feminine, very eclectic. We are experts in boots and sandals, and we need to be leveraging everything in between the two,” Poletto added.
Shoes are currently the most buzzed-about category in accessories. Poletto said that this is due to the fact that, “Women have a very intimate connection with shoes. It’s something they buy for themselves. It’s very similar to what makeup is, that is the example we use internally.”
The Weitzman Nudist collection plays well into this makeup-type mentality and has demonstrated an enduring appeal. While the collection was first released in 2013, Weitzman released its latest Nudist campaign ahead of a spring season for which the ‘nude sandal’ trend is being touted as one of the hottest buys.
Corresponding imagery and video featuring Jenner, Mi, Campbell and Smith will be released in four parts that were conceptualized as a six-month “multimedia project.”
It represents a new mentality for the Weitzman brand — which has long photographed its campaigns in black-and-white. The full-color ads will be released with a digital focus. “For this season, we are investing a lot in digital and out of home. There has been a strong reduction in print advertising — it’s a strategic shift to be much more digital,” said Poletto.
The brand has a spot on the New York Fashion Week schedule — Feb. 12 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. — at which time it plans to release the campaign’s second activation.