Stuart Weitzman Creative Director Steps Down; ‘Behavior Fell Short’ of Company Standards

Just one year after making a grand entrance as the first person, other than Stuart Weitzman, to take the creative reins of his namesake shoe label — Giovanni Morelli has resigned. (Weitzman had led the brand’s creative vision since its launch.)

The surprise departure comes after Stuart Weitzman parent Tapestry Inc. alleged that Morelli — who landed in the creative director slot in May 2017 — behaved inappropriately while working for the storied label.

“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,” said Tapestry CEO Victor Luis. “Looking ahead, we have the utmost confidence in the talented Stuart Weitzman design team under the direction of CEO and brand president Eraldo Poletto, who has a proven track record of developing iconic brands and successfully building global teams.”

Morelli’s exit marks the second major departure at Stuart Weitzman in the past month. The brand’s previous CEO, Wendy Kahn, left the company in April, making room for Poletto to take the post. (Khan had been CEO since September 2016.)

In February, under Morelli’s creative vision, Stuart Weitzman —  a celebrity favorite known for its sharp pricing, quality, comfort and fit — made its New York Fashion Week debut.

“This is an important moment for us because we start to be part of the fashion conversation,” Morelli told FN at the time. “We want to have a broader audience and be more assertive in terms of design.”

While details of Morelli’s alleged misconduct remain scarce, his exit comes at a time when companies — pressured by the rising importance of movements such as #MeToo, which shed light on the mistreatment of women at work — are feeling compelled to swiftly address internal behavioral issues.

Before joining Stuart Weitzman, Morelli was  the leather-goods design director at Loewe, where he had been since March 2015.

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