Jane Gershon Weitzman, wife of shoe designer Stuart Weitzman, didn't need to throw a huge party to fete her new book. To launch Art & Sole, she had a limited number of loyal Stuart Weitzman customers, fashion obsessives, and media types come to the small flagship store on Madison Avenue, where the idea for the book was born. Art & Sole illustrates the beautiful, intricate "art shoes" that were the stars of the window displays in that shop for years.
Jane Weitzman told The Atlantic Wire she decided to put the book together because "people kept asking, where are the shoes?" Jane commissioned over 1,000 art shoes since the flagship store opened almost two decades ago. "I was just traveling all over the country looking for artists," she says.
Now, things are a bit slower for the Weitzmans as far as their involvement in the company goes, but that doesn't make them any less social. Jane was signing books all night, and Stuart made his way around the entire party, chatting with friends, including one of the shoe artists present, Jane Carroll.
Jane writes in the preface to the book, "I found very talented artists who made shoes out of unexpected materials, and I always urged them to take their work further . . . finding the artists became addictive for us." The shoes displayed in the book are made of clay, wire, flowers, and even playing cards. Her one regret? She never managed to find a glass slipper, a la Cinderella, to display.
The crowd at the party was admittedly a bit older than the usual fashion week scene (lots of ladies in Chanel jackets sipping Chardonnay), but the Weitzmans, who are pushing 70, didn't seem to mind. Jane was wearing Stuart Weitzman stilettos, by the way. Stuart had on desert boots.
Art & Sole is available now from HarperCollins.