Welcome to the 26th episode of 5 Questions with Dan Schawbel. As your host, my goal is to curate the best advice from the world’s smartest and most interesting people by asking them just 5 questions.
This episodes guest:
My guest today is fashion designer and founder of the Stuart Weitzman shoe company, Stuart Weitzman. Born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, he worked with his older brother at his fathers shoe factory called Seymour Shoes. Stuart designed shoes for his fathers business from the late 1950s to the early 1960s. In 1958, he graduated from George W. Hewlett High School and in 1963; he attended the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. When his father died, he and his brother took charge of the business, sold it to a Spanish company and eventually purchased it back. Stuart was known for, and got attention from, the use of unconventional and unique materials like vinyl, cork, wallpaper and gold, as well as his objective to produce something flawless. He became famous for creating a “Million Dollar Shoe”, with 464 diamonds for Laura Harring who wore them to the 2002 Academy Awards. In 2015, Coach acquired the Stuart Weitzman Company for $574 million. Stuart stayed on as a shoe designer until retiring in 2017, but maintains his title as chairman emeritus. This year, the University of Pennsylvania announced that the School of Design will be renamed the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of design. I sat down with Stuart a few days before his keynote at the International Trademark Associations March Conference: The Business of Brands held in New York City on March 28th and 29th.
Video interview from New York City:
The 5 questions questions I ask in this episode:
- Why did you decide to pursue this career?
- What’s the process of developing a new shoe?
- How do you stay on the latest trends and adapt to change?
- How have you been able to stand out among other brands?
- What’s your best piece of career advice?
Follow Stuart’s company: