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Insider caught up with Stuart Weitzman last week at Los Angeles’ The London hotel, where the designer was set up for Oscar week. Weitzman said most of the stylists were opting for toned-down styles to match the country’s economic mood. “Actresses are no different from you or me when it comes to this stuff,” he said. “And the times dictate a more understated look.” While Weitzman was mum on who had picked out shoes, Angelina Jolie, Katie Holmes and Beyoncé have already been spotted wearing his designs this awards season. Ironically, Weitzman said the tough economic times are helping his wholesale business, since his shoes, at $325 to $395, are priced considerably lower than other luxe labels. “I didn’t plan for it this way, but we’ve never priced our product as luxury product,” he said. “We cater to the same customer, but we’re not a luxury price, so we have opportunities others don’t.” Insider was also privy to a recent ping-pong smack down at Weitzman’s New York showroom. Weitzman, who prepares for matches with finger exercises, beat fellow fanatic Melissa Koonin in two close matches, but sent her home with a collection of his shoes.
Last week saw a slew of high-profile New York store openings from Armani, Diesel and King of Greene Street. Adidas, too, used Fashion Week to bow its inaugural SLVR retail concept (above) and show off the apparel, footwear and accessories that collection designer Nic Galway called “progressive and very much about silhouette.” Talking to Insider at a store event, Galway said that the line (in development for the past two years) keeps price points under $190 — a happy coincidence these days. “It’s affordable, timeless product,” he said, “which is really appealing right now.” The New York store is the first of many — openings are planned in Miami, Los Angeles, Paris, Moscow and Berlin.
Heart to Heart
BBC International CEO Bob Campbell is reaping the benefits of a healthy heart. The American Heart Association honored Campbell, who underwent a quintuple bypass five years ago, on Feb. 21 at the 27th annual Heart Ball in Boca Raton, Fla. The Association paid homage to Campbell, who also serves on the South East Board of the AHA, for his fundraising efforts. While Campbell told Insider he was thrilled to receive the award, nothing compares to his new outlook on life. “I feel healthier than ever,” he said. “It amazes me the research and all the things they do. It’s a privilege to be honored.”
The imposing presences of Punkass, Mask and Skyscrape (below, from left), founders of mixed-martial-arts franchise Tapout, making the scene at the brand’s Magic booth for their newly launched footwear line with Skechers. Posing for a pic was Stage Stores buyer Robert Clark (in back).