Quirky! Whimsical! Audacious! That’s Jane Gershon Weitzman’s delightful book, Art & Sole, a compilation of exquisite photographs of beautiful shoes. Yes, shoes, but these particular shoes are much more than a form of apparel. They are part of the ingenious project developed by Weitzman to bring attention to the opening of the first eponymous retail store by her husband, renowned shoe designer Stuart Weitzman. The store opened in 1995 on Madison Avenue and Fifty-Ninth Street in Manhattan, and in the window were “fantasy shoes made by wonderful artists all over the world.” The “fantasy shoe” window display project was so successful that the windows themselves became a destination and artists vied to have their “fantasy shoes” displayed there. Art & Sole is a collection of the very best of more than a thousand “fantasy shoes” that have appeared in the windows of Stuart Weitzman stores over the years.
Of all the fantasy shoes, I liked Sylvia Weinstock’s the best. The shoes were made of frosting. (Weinstock is a celebrity cake chef.) One can honestly say that these shoes look good enough to eat and then proceed to eat them. This book is further evidence of the creative role Jews have played, and continue to play, in the world of fashion and its merchandising. It’s a fun book. Color photos, illustrations.
Related: Jews and Fashion Reading List