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Stuart Weitzman Steps Down as Creative Director of Eponymous Brand

The footwear designer will now serve as chairman.
Weitzman with Ciara at the 2016 CFDA Awards.

Weitzman with Ciara at the 2016 CFDA Awards.

Stuart Weitzman, the designer behind the now ubiquitous "Nudist" heel, is stepping down as creative director and executive chairman of his eponymous brand, according to a release sent Tuesday morning.

Weitzman has designed shoes under his name for over 25 years. He is to be replaced by Giovanni Morelli, who was most recently the leather goods design director at LVMH-owned Loewe. Morelli has also designed accessories for brands like Prada, Marc Jacobs, Chloé and Burberry. "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."

Coach acquired the brand early in 2015 for a reported $574 million, and has been quietly ramping up the footwear line ever since. In August 2015, Stuart Weitzman tapped Gisele for its first-ever commercial; its recent advertisements have featured the likes of Gigi Hadid, Joan Smalls, and Lily Aldridge completely nude; and in July of this year, it poached from Valentino for new CEO and brand president Wendy Kahn.

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Morelli's appointment is to be effective May 5, 2017, at which time Weitzman will become chairman.

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