“ART & SOLE” by Jane Gershon Weitzman is an inspiring book for art and shoe lovers (as well as DIYers). 150+ full color photos of fantasy shoes curated by Mrs. Weitzman is packaged in a bold red and gold covering, colors most fitting for the upcoming Valentine’s Day or Chinese New Year!

Photo above: “Jewels at Work” by Sharon Von Senden

I got an early Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year gift that I really love: Jane Gershon Weitzman’s “ART & SOLE” book. The book is a treasure trove for a fashion enthusiast and DIYer like me; the 150+ pairs of fantasy shoes made with unique materials are all very well-made and thoroughly inspiring. Plus, I got to ask several questions to Mrs. Weitzman via email!

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“Corrugated Curves V” and “Corrugated Curves VI” by Robert Tabor

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“Ribbon Candy” by Linda Leviton

The fantasy shoes featured in “ART & SOLE” represents the best of the best of more than 1,000 pairs Mrs. Weitzman discovered and commissioned for the windows of the first Stuart Weitzman retail store on Madison Avenue in the mid-1990s. These shoes were part of what made the store popular, attracting shoppers, onlookers, and designers alike. Considering that many of the designers of these shoes are not specialized in creating fantasy shoes, that makes browsing these creations on paper the more mesmerizing.

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“Shoe Shower” and “Cabfab” by Robert Tabor

Jane Gershon Weitzman was the Executive Vice President of Stuart Weitzman and the first Vice President of Stuart Weitzman Retail. Moreover, she led the company’s philanthropy effort to support breast and ovarian cancer research and awareness.

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Jane Weitzman and Stuart Weitzman

While “ART & SOLE” was first published in 2013, Mrs. Weitzman is continuing her cross‐country tour at book fairs and for charities at over 40 locations in the US, including the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, the Mint Museum in North Carolina, Philadelphia Aids Fund and local Breast Cancer events. I asked Mrs. Weitzman what this book mean to her and her philantrophic mission.

She responded, “Speaking engagements enable me to help many charities and non-profit organizations I feel passionately about. When an organization invites me to speak about the book I am able to draw awareness to their mission, and of course talk about a topic I love – shoes!”

When asked about how she got the idea of displaying these fantasy art shoes for Stuart Weitzman shop instead of her husband’s works for the store window, she said, “The first window dresser we worked with when we opened the store would display a few art shoes here and there. As people started asking us about them I began looking for artists to create more shoes, and eventually it became such a success we only display art shoes.”

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“By Any Other Name” by Joan McClutchy de Vidargas

Can you imagine curating 150+ pair of shoes for “ART & SOLE” from thousands of pairs that were originally commissioned for Stuart Weitzman store window? I asked about her process of choosing which ones to feature, especially considering that they are made from a variety of materials, from feathers, paper, ceramic, metal, resin, playing cards, corrugated cardboard, Swarovski crystals, even fresh flowers and frosting.

Mrs. Weitzman responded, “Most of the shoes I picked for the book hit me as a good fit right away and I knew they had to be included. The original cake and floral shoes, were of course perishable, so the artists created new ones just for the book.”

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“Decked in Dahlias” by Jane Carroll

She also listed “Beauty, comfort and originality” as the defining characteristics of her own perfect pair of shoes.

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“Shoes Make the Outfit” by Kathy Wegman

Being one of the key decision makers in the success of Stuart Weitzman brand, it’s only fitting that she shares some advice in building a successful shoes empire business for emerging shoes designers.
Her advice is right on the money, “Know how to construct a shoe so that itʼs both comfortable and beautiful.”

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“Trans Plant” by Anthony Rosiello

And in case you’re wondering where these shoes are now…
“The shoes are safely tucked away in storage.”

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Art & Sole book – Cover shoe by Sharon Von Senden

Thank you PRPR for sending me a copy of this very lovely “ART & SOLE” as well as sending my questions to Jane Weitzman to respond. Moreover, all the best to Jane Weitzman for her continued philanthropic mission!

Thank you for reading; until next time,

Photos by Lucas Zarebinski / Courtesy of Jane Greshon Weitzman via PRPR (Paula Rosado PR).

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