Stuart A. Weitzman is an American shoe designer, entrepreneur, and founder of the shoe company Stuart Weitzman. Weitzman has designed footwear for Beyoncé and Taylor Swift. In 2014, Weitzman paid a world record $9.48 million for the British Guiana 1c magenta stamp. In May 2017, Stuart Weitzman Holdings, LLC, appointed Giovanni Morelli as Creative Director and Weitzman stepped down from his role. Weitzman has confirmed ownership of the only legal 1933 $20 St. Gaudens gold coin also known as the "Double Eagle".
In the late 1950s, Weitzman's father, Seymour Weitzman, and his older brother Warren opened a shoe factory in Haverhill, Massachusetts, called "Seymour Shoes". Weitzman began designing shoes for his father's business in the early 1960s.
Weitzman graduated from George W. Hewlett High School in 1958 and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1963. When Seymour died in 1965, Warren and Stuart ran the business. They sold the business to a company in Spain in 1971, and Weitzman continued to design shoes for the company. In 1994, he bought back the business, but he continues to manufacture his shoe designs in Spain.
Weitzman is known for providing one-of-a-kind, "million dollar" shoes to Oscar nominees to wear at the Academy Awards such as the pair of platinum sandals adorned with 464 diamonds that actress Laura Harring wore to the 2002 ceremony. For the 2007 Oscars, shoes were designed for and provided to Diablo Cody, who subsequently declined to wear them, stating that she was not aware of nor interested in the publicity attendant with wearing the shoes. Weitzman uses unique materials including cork, vinyl, lucite, wallpaper, and 24-karat gold. His shoes are sold in over 70 countries.
The eponymous company that Weitzman founded has changed hands a number of times. Jones Apparel Group purchased a majority stake in the company in 2010 and later bought the remaining 45 percent of shares retained by Weitzman in 2012. In January 2015, Sycamore Partners LLC (the private equity fund that owns Jones Apparel Group) agreed to sell the company to Coach, the luxury fashion house, for $574M. As part of the deal, Weitzman stayed on as a shoe designer for the company.
Weitzman is married to Jane Gershon. Stuart and Jane have two daughters.
On June 17, 2014, Weitzman, who had collected stamps as a child, anonymously purchased the "world's most famous stamp", the British Guiana 1c magenta at a Sotheby's auction in New York for $9.48M, including buyer's premium, the highest price ever paid for a postage stamp. Weitzman has since identified himself as the purchaser and has lent the stamp to the National Postal Museum for exhibition. In June 2015, Weitzman also identified himself as the current owner of the unique plate block of four 1918 U.S. 24-cent Inverted Jennies, widely regarded as the world's most celebrated philatelic printing error. In March 2021 Weitzman revealed himself as having purchased the only legal 1933 double eagle in 2002 for $7.6M, then the most expensive coin ever sold. All three items were auctioned by Sotheby's in June 2021 - dubbed the "Three Treasures". The items sold for $18.9m, $8.3m and $4.9m.
"Today's sale marked a historic moment in the history of stamp and coin collecting -- and one that I think will not be surpassed for a long time, if ever," said global head of books and manuscripts at Sotheby's, Richard Austin, said in a press release. Collector Weitzman meanwhile said in a press statement that it had "been an honor to be a custodian of these three legendary treasures."
"I started coin collecting to pass the time in a full leg cast at the age of 12, and later became interested in stamps when my older brother left behind the stamp book he'd started when he went to college. The passion for collecting took root immediately, and today truly marked the culmination of a life's work," he said, adding that proceeds from the sale will "help support a number of charitable causes and educational endeavors that are near and dear to me."
Stuart has a philanthropic foundation in Spain and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Hispanojudía Foundation.
On February 26, 2019, University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann announced that the School of Design will be renamed the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design.