“Shoes tell you about a person—they speak to your personality,” says shoe mogul Stuart Weitzman. “Look at Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy. They wore flats. You know what that said about them? That they were confi dent women.”

For the past 23 years, Weitzman has been making women feel confident in his eponymous shoe line. His penchant for the unusual (think diamondencrusted sandals and cork stilettos) and attention to comfort make his shoes some of the world’s most sought-after. “I listen to women,” he explains. “They are my muses, so I focus on making great-looking shoes they can wear all the time.”

Although the Long Island native comes from a family of shoe makers (his father and brother were partners at Mr. Seymour shoes), Weitzman was originally headed for Wall Street. But after his father passed away, his plans changed. “I asked my brother if I could try out the business for six months and that was it,” he said. “I felt like I was working at my hobby, and I couldn’t improve on that.”

Each season Weitzman designs approximately 400 styles (this fall look for a new line of thigh-high boots), and whether he’s reviewing pricing in his New York showroom or modifying patterns at the factory in Spain, he’s involved in every detail. So after nearly 40 years in the business and thousands of shoe designs to his credit, does Weitzman have a favorite pair? “A favorite?” he asks. “That’s like asking me to choose a favorite daughter.”

 

NEW YORK FAVORITES
Sports: Tennis in Central Park
Memory: Sharing in Rod Laver’s Grand Slam win at the US Open in 1969
Pizza: Mario’s pepperoni pizza in the Bronx
Radio Station: 101 FM

Like what you're reading? Get it delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up now for our newsletters >>