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- Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project


Shoes Make The Outfit

Oh how I wish these were real! Both for the sparkle and the saying, which I truly believe.  A change of shoes completely changes the look of an outfit. While I can't slip these wedges by artist Kathy Wegman on my feet, I can enjoy the intricate beading and clever quote every day by glancing at Art & Sole, the gorgeous little coffee table book by Jane Weitzman that highlights 150 creations from the Stuart Weitzman fantasy art shoe collection she curated over several decades for the flagship store on Madison Avenue -- and which she is graciously offering one lucky Style Maniac reader. Enter to win here -- today is the LAST DAY for our Art&Sole signed book Giveaway. Closes midnight EST tonight, May 4, 2015.


When In Doubt, Go to the Circus

When in doubt, lend the ear, write the note, share the hug, give the compliment.  Sip coffee outside on the stoop in the sunshine.  Dance in a dark kitchen to old tunes on the radio.  Laugh at the bad joke, cry at the movie, read the book til dawn.  Take the leap, make the time, risk the risk.  Extend the invitation.  Smile at strangers.  When in doubt, say yes.

When in doubt, go to the circus.

Photo of Circus Sarasota by Doreen Creede


INTERVIEW: Jane Weitzman on Art, Customer Service & Why Women Love Stuart Weitzman Shoes

As wife of designer Stuart Weitzman and EVP of their company, Jane Weitzman helped build one of fashion’s most iconic brands.  In a wide-ranging discussion, Jane chatted with Style Maniac about her charitable work to fight ovarian and breast cancer, the reason for the longevity of the Stuart Weitzman label and her gorgeous little coffee table book Art & Sole, which features the first-ever compilation of 150 styles from the Stuart Weitzman fantasy art shoe collection -- a signed copy of which we are GIVING AWAY to one lucky reader.  I even got Jane to reveal the (real) shoes from her extensive collection that regularly get her stopped on the street. Yes, ladies, leopard is involved!

Here, with great pleasure, I share the Style Maniac interview with author, entrepreneur, philanthropist and shoe lover Jane Weitzman.
DOREEN CREEDE / STYLE MANIAC:  How did the Stuart Weitzman fantasy art shoe collaborations work?
JANE WEITZMAN:  Some shoes I found.  If I liked an artist’s work, I’d ask them to create a shoe. At first I got sneakers, cowboy boots. Then I asked Stuart to draw a simple stiletto and gave artist’s that to work from.  That really worked much better.

How many fantasy shoes were made?
Over 1,000.  In the beginning we rotated displays every month until we sold the company.

Is there a Cinderella shoe?
We never did get a Cinderella glass shoe, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.  There are commercially made glass shoes, but they were never right for window display and the glass workers I contacted never came through.

What happened to the art shoes?
Some we sold right off the floor.  At the beginning, I was so happy to get the money from them to create the next window, I didn’t think of keeping them.  Later artists made shoes for us to sell.  We sold a lot of Charlene Clark’s papier-mâché shoes, which were at a price range that we could keep them in stock.

Any plans for an exhibit?
Maybe ….

You were the first Vice President of Stuart Weitzman Retail.  Any tips on customer service?
Customer service is as important as product.  It's about how you treat customers, how you go out of your way to get something for them, how you welcome them.  I felt there should be a graciousness about the store.  Nothing pushy.  Welcome a customer, let her know you are there if she needs help, and then let her shop.

Do you think good service accounts for the longevity of the Stuart Weitzman brand?
Well, having said that, the real truth: it's Stuart’s genius in not just designing shoes but making them fit.

I saw a video where Stuart says he’s always delighted to see his shoes on the street and will stop the woman wearing them to chat.
He does! No matter where we are in the world, he’ll stop to talk with a woman wearing his shoes.
SOLE MATES: Jane & Stuart Weitzman

How many pairs of Stuart Weitzman shoes do you have in your personal collection?
Everyone asks me that and I just say  … “A lot.”

Do you have a favorite (real) pair of Stuart Weitzman shoes?
Picking a favorite is like picking children.  I can't do it.  But there are a few pairs that people stop me whenever I wear them.  Such as pavé heels in Swarovski crystal.  And a pair of all-over leopard skin boots.  I had those done in a flat heel so I can really walk around.  Timeless. 

What has surprised you most about Art & Sole?
The response.  I really thought it would come out, have a season and that would be it.  But word of mouth has been amazing.  I’m very lucky.  I guess it’s a timeless subject that people love.


GIVEAWAY: Signed Copy of ART & SOLE, Jane Weitzman's book showcasing the Stuart Weitzman Fantasy Shoe Collection

Art & Sole showcases 150 pairs of the Stuart Weitzman fantasy art shoe collection  Enter to win your signed copy of this beautiful book by Jane Weitzman in this exclusive Style Maniac giveaway.

Art + books + shoes.  Could there be a more fitting trinity for Style Maniac? Especially when it's the Stuart Weitzman collection of fantasy art shoes beautifully showcased in a gorgeous book and signed by the author, Jane Weitzman, who helped her husband launch one of the world's most iconic brands (and a personal favorite of mine).  Commissioned over several decades, the fantasy shoes range from ethereal golden wire to whimsical takes on the Wizard of Oz (below) to a bedazzled pair I wish would be put in production.  Originally displayed in the Stuart Weitzman flagship store on Madison Avenue they are gathered together for the very first time in Art & Sole.  It's with such great pleasure that I share this special giveaway with all of you, dear readers.

To enter the signed book giveaway, see below.  (p.s. this luxe little coffee table book also makes a chic  Mother's Day gift!) 
For more on how the collection came about, the Stuart Weitzman style Jane wears over and over, and whether or not she'll reveal how many pairs of shoes are in her own closet, stop back on Wednesday for our Jane Weitzman interview.  Plus, visit the Style Maniac Facebook Page this week to see all my fantasy favorites.

Style Maniac's 
"Art & Sole" 
by Jane Weitzman
Signed Book Giveaway: 
  • Leave a comment below telling us why you love art, books, shoes or Stuart Weitzman!
  • Enter by midnight EST on Monday, May 4, 2015

leave an extra comment for any of the following  (current fans add for all that apply):

Giveaway valid in the U.S. only.  Winner will be chosen at random and announced in May.  If your online profile does not link to an email address, be sure to include it in the entry. Good luck!


3 Wedding Invitation Tips from Smoochie Paper founder Patty Tawadros

Smoochie Paper founder Patty Tawadros gives a toast at a friend's wedding.
For years before founding couture stationery company Smoochie Paper, Patty Tawadros created handmade invitations for many a friend's wedding.  Here are her three top tips to keep in mind when creating an invite for your own event:


Smoochie Paper Brings Luxe Love to Couture Stationery & Bespoke Wedding Invitations

As a young girl Patti Tawadros spent hours in the garage enthralled by the textures, patterns and colors of the papers in her dad's printing business.  Now, after years immersed in web development and online branding, she's returned to that love with Smoochie Paper, a couture stationery company that brings a luxe yet lighthearted approach to the art of invitations and paper goods.

Taken from her boyfriend's nickname for Patty in honor of her affectionate nature, the Smoochie in Smoochie Paper also relates to romance, as the heart of the company's business is bespoke wedding invitations.


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