Why Stuart Weitzman and the Man Behind Your Go-To Heels Have Parted Ways
Giovanni Morelli, creative director of Stuart Weitzman, has officially left the brand’s parent company, Tapestry (which also owns Kate Spade and Coach), for "behavior" issues.
Announcing his resignation, CEO Victor Luis said in a statement: “While we greatly admire Giovanni’s creative talents, Tapestry is committed to an environment where every individual feels respected and at times his behavior fell short of these standards."
Morelli joined the company in May of 2017 after creating "It" accessories for brands like Marc Jacobs and Chloe, and has since continued to work closely with key Weitzman supporters including campaign star Gisele Bündchen and ambassador Gigi Hadid, who has worked as a design collaborator with the brand since 2016. (A portion of the proceeds from her best-selling boots and mules are donated to Pencils of Promise, a program which works to expand education opportunities in rural areas of developing nations.)
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Earlier this month, Morelli was honored for his work at a dinner alongside fashion notables Kate Moss and celebrities like Nicki Minaj, Hailey Baldwin, Kiersey Clemons, and Hadid’s mother, Yolanda Hadid. He's the one who is also responsible for the major rebranding the company has seen in recent months, including adopting a royal blue shade as the brand's signature hue.
This isn’t the first time the household label has separated from someone for misbehaving. In January, Weitzman decided to stop working with photographer Mario Testino—an industry legend who previously shot their campaigns—following a New York Times story citing allegations of sexual harassment against Testino and Bruce Weber.
Despite (slow) progress in Hollywood thanks to #MeToo founder Tarana Burke and Time’s Up leaders like Reese Witherspoon and Tracee Elliss Ross, sexual harassment is still very much a taboo subject in the fashion industry. (It is of note that the company did not explicitly mention the nature of Morelli's inappropriate behavior.)
Testino and Weber, for example, have been slapped on the wrist for their conduct, and companies like Burberry, Michael Kors, and Condé Nast have removed ties. But successful widespread policy hasn’t affected major change, despite the efforts of organizations like the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the Model Alliance.
As for what this means for your favorite shoes, the current design team will continue its work under the direction of Stuart Wetizman CEO and Brand President Eraldo Poletto.