Luxury Footwear Brand Stuart Weitzman Announces Partnership With CCS to Inspire the Future of Footwear Design

February 22, 2022
group of students gather for a picture at Stuart Weitzman's headquarters in NY

Luxury footwear brand Stuart Weitzman announces its partnership with the College for Creative Studies (CCS) Fashion Design program designed to empower the next generation of shoe designers. The educational partnership — a first for the brand — features a semester-long studio course where students researched, ideated, designed and handbuilt two prototypes for their vision of a future Stuart Weitzman collection. The first course launched in Fall 2021.

Under the guidance of Aki Choklat, Chair of Fashion Design at CCS, students were tasked with designing for the consumer of 2030 to 2035. Stuart Weitzman design team members, helmed by Global Head of Design Edmundo Castillo, offered feedback at key points throughout the term. For the midterm presentation, CCS welcomed Castillo, along with Designer Casper Werner and SVP, Global Head of Human Resources Jen Houck, in Detroit to share their feedback with the students.

“When I went to the school to view the prototypes, I was able to see a very raw part of the process that could turn into anything,” says Castillo. “My biggest interest was to give the right type of criticism and advice for them to achieve what they wanted to achieve creatively.”

The students drew inspiration from topics close to their hearts, such as climate change, representation and inclusivity. This inspiration and their personal, artistic visions fueled outcomes that exceeded expectations.

“These types of experiential learning opportunities are an essential part of our teaching philosophy,” Choklat said. “Students not only get the invaluable feedback and experience from the top professionals, but they also get to see what their future workplace could be. Stuart Weitzman and their team opened their doors and shared their professional guidance with us, this is something that I am forever grateful for.”

At the end of the semester, the students and faculty traveled to the Stuart Weitzman headquarters at Hudson Yards in New York City to share their final presentations to a group of brand leaders, including Castillo, CEO & Brand President, Giorgio Sarné, VP, Global Communications Jackie Seaman and more.

“I was inspired by the love that they see in making shoes, in thinking about shoes, in looking at the details and in the questions they asked,” says Giorgio. “I remember when I was young, I was always thinking, ‘is this the right question?’ I believe there is no right question, just ask the question.”

“They took our advice and turned it into something really, really great,” adds Castillo.

About Stuart Weitzman

Stuart Weitzman shoes are designed for high fashion and high function. Known for over 35 years for its artisanal Spanish craftsmanship and precisely-engineered fit, the luxury footwear brand inspires women around the world to shine with every step.

Stuart Weitzman is part of the Tapestry portfolio — a global house of brands committed to stretching what’s possible.