Stuart Weitzman Steps Down, Appoints Giovanni Morelli as Successor

Stuart Weitzman and singer Ciara -CFDA Fashion Awards-Getty-H 2016
Ray Tamarra/FilmMagic

The man behind the ever-popular "Nudist" heels will still be part of the brand as chairman.

It's a new era in the shoe sphere: Stuart Weitzman, the person, is stepping down as creative director at Stuart Weitzman, the brand, and becoming the company's chairman. The designer will be succeeded by Giovanni Morelli, starting May 5, 2017, according to a release.

Morelli joins Stuart Weitzman from Loewe, where he has served as the leather goods design director since March 2015. He previously worked at Prada, Burberry, Marc Jacobs and Chloe. With his broad-reaching, international luxury goods experience, it sounds like Morelli could kick things up a notch in the SW design department, and even focus more on handbags, with which the brand has not had as much success as it has with shoes.

"In Giovanni, we have found a creative director who will ensure that the unique DNA of the brand will be preserved while infusing his creative vision for a modern age," said Weitzman in a statement. "Giovanni is respected for his attention to detail, respect of quality and craftsmanship and for his modern sensibility that is always pushing new design boundaries."

Weitzman's designs have long been a Hollywood red-carpet favorite, especially the "Nudist" heels, which has been spotted on Beyonce, Kerry Washington, Rachel McAdams, Naomi Watts, Chrissy Teigen, Elizabeth Banks and Ciara, among others. The brand's fall 2016 campaign starred Gigi Hadid, who made headlines when she posed nude with Joan Smalls and Lily Aldridge for the spring 2016 ads.

"Women globally have embraced Stuart Weitzman’s beautiful shoes that offer both amazing design and incredible comfort," said Morelli. "I look forward to expanding the brand's language and its global reach while remaining respectful of the culture and key tenets that it was founded on, which in turn have inspired such strong customer loyalty."

Coach bought Stuart Weitzman in January 2015 for $574 million, and the label has performed well in the last three quarters.