Review: Art & Sole

Art & Sole: A Spectacular Selection of More Than 150 Fantasy Art Shoes from the Stuart Weitzman Collection

by Jane Gershon Weitzman

Reviewed by Judith Reveal | Released: August 20, 2013

Publisher: Harper Design (208 pages)

“. . . a fascinating art book . . .”

Imelda Marcos has nothing on Stuart Weitzman when it comes to collecting shoes, but I’ll bet she would love to walk through his collection. Jane Weitzman brings an appreciation of the extreme to the Stuart Weitzman Collection.

The reader should not expect a detailed description of the various shoes, nor an in-depth history behind their creation because that is not what the book is about. Art & Sole is a photographic journey of style and art, a book to be appreciated and tucked onto the upper right hand corner of your coffee table, where guests will spy it, open it, and gasp at the wonderful glory of the shoes.

Ms. Weitzman provides a brief Introduction—a mere two pages—where she describes how, in 1995, her husband declared they would open a retail store, and she was charged with finding the appropriate location and overseeing the entire project. A challenge, but one she knew she was up for.

She describes in brief text how the project came together as a labor of love, and “Once Stuart Weitzman opened, I made sure that it was fun to shop there.” Attention was focused on footwear—from “. . . chocolate shoes to gift wrap with shoes on it . . .”

It did not take long before Ms. Weitzman was searching for artists whose “art shoes” would be displayed in the store windows, windows where Timothy Fortuna, window designer, designed background displays that complimented the unique shoes.

In two very short pages, Ms. Weitzman shares years of creating a picture of artists at their best. One wanders through 177 pages of photographs of shoes—nothing else—no background, no platforms (well, except the shoes, of course), just plain white glossy pages with amazing shoes. And, no . . . these are not shoes one wears; these are shoes that would be put in a place of honor where guests would notice them, discuss them, comment on their style, and appreciate them.

The last 15 pages of the book are dedicated to the artists who created the shoes. She explains briefly how each artist constructs his or her shoes, if there is a theme, and in many cases, a brief history of the artist and contact information.

Even for the common human who believes shoes just belong on feet, this is a fascinating art book, and should be treasured as such.

This book review was prepared for the New York Journal of Books and is reprinted with their permission. Please visit their website: www.nyjournalofbooks.com for a complete listing of book reviews.

Reviewer: Judy Reveal lives in Maryland. She is the author of Around Greensboro and the Lindsey Gale Mystery series including Cheating Death, The Music Room, A House to Kill For, and historical fiction (2013) The Brownstone.

© Roy Bartels 2012