Stuart Weitzman has a new leading man. Parent company Tapestry Inc. has tapped former Ferragamo chief Eraldo Poletto as Weitzman’s new CEO and brand president. Wendy Kahn, the label’s head, is exiting Tapestry after less than two years in the role.
Most recently, Poletto was CEO of Salvatore Ferragamo SpA, and he departed the Italian fashion house in February. Before joining Ferragamo in May 2016, Poletto headed up Furla for six years. He was previously president of strategic development and international business worldwide at Retail Brand Alliance Inc., parent of Brooks Brothers.
“In Eraldo, we have found a leader who over the last 30 years has acquired both the global luxury experience and deep understanding of iconic brands to drive results,” Tapestry Inc. CEO Victor Luis said in a statement. “He brings a proven, successful track record in building and engaging teams and in developing and maximizing international growth across all fashion categories.”
“I am thrilled by the opportunity to lead this iconic brand,” added Poletto. “Stuart Weitzman footwear has long represented quality, style and the beautiful combination of form and fit. I look forward to working with the team to build on this foundation as we evolve into a global multicategory brand.”
Poletto will join forces with creative director Giovanni Morelli, who took the design reins of Stuart Weitzman last year — when the founder and namesake retired. Morelli unveiled his first full collection for pre-fall ’18 and presented the autumn offering during New York Fashion Week.
“This is an important moment for us because we start to be part of the fashion conversation,” Morelli told FN in February. “We want to have a broader audience and be more assertive in terms of design.”
The new team will be challenged to push the design envelope and expand the brand’s reach globally, while maintaining its core strengths and competitive advantages. Weitzman, which has been a standout in a challenging climate, is saluted by retailers and consumers alike for its sharp pricing, quality, comfort and fit.
Morelli debuted handbags for fall, and the brand will likely make a play for other categories moving forward.