Stuart Weitzman SW Boot Camp Fall 2019 Ad Campaign by Charlotte Wales

Stuart Weitzman

SW Boot Camp 'Dance' Fall 2019 Ad Campaign by General Idea & Charlotte Wales


Rewind the timeline 10 years and the mantra of ‘sex-sells’ was voiced in campaign pitches across the industry. The result was campaign page stoppers with ‘sex’ becoming a core component of many house’s brand equity and DNA.

Stuart Weitzman was one of those brands, breaking footwear ad campaign barriers by embracing the bare leg with oftentimes little else, provoking both the male and female gaze, and bursting forward with a footwear taboo: not sex mind you, but spreads rather than single pages to let those legs be as long as possible. The house did the unthinkable is a sea of stilettoes, they took a dare-we-say comfortable and supportive heel and created an image that made it sexy as well.

Cut to today when CMO’s and creatives cower at the mere mention of ‘sex,’ quickly shifting to inclusion and unisex narrative as if visceral reasoning had been genetically removed from consumers. But among marketers, a brave few who recognized sex is their DNA and not to run away from (see David Yurman) but layer onto it (see Tom Ford).

So it is with delight that we witness the evolution of Stuart Weitzman’s latest ad campaign. Not that the evolution is that dramatic, but that the in-house marketing team and new creative agency partner General Idea and it’s Creative Director Semjon Doenhoff, didn’t run away from the heritage of the house and its sexiness for fall. While other brands have jumped ship started anew with concepts that pretend the brand was never sexy, Doenhoff layered onto the strength of the label with a campaign wrapped around the legs entitled ‘Boot Camp.’

The campaign, a first of three parts entitled ‘Dance,’ is part Bob Fosse, part heritage Stuart Weitzman, and all legs of spokesmodel Kendall Jenner. Captured by one of The Impression’s Top 50 up-and-Coming Creatives, Charlotte Wales, the base of the campaign is the clean, sexy, minimal look of historical Stuart Weitzman featuring Jenner in an asymmetrical number that is reminiscent of 80s workout video wear. The film opens with Jenner joined by two dancers while Run It Up by DDG plays in the background. The movements are key as the body language of hands-on-hips and head up is that of confidence and empowerment while still remaining sexy and showcasing the product.

The campaign is smart because the team didn’t use those legs to run away from who they are. The ‘Boot Camp’ theme gives them room to play, and the spirt is sexy while remaining powerful, appealing to the gaze, but in a manner that embraces today rather than offend it.

Agency General Idea, gets the general idea, and Stuart Weitzman has planted their boots firmly in a camp that allows for the evolution of sex. Forward march.

Agency | General Idea
Creative Director | Semjon Doenhoff 
Photographer/Director | Charlotte Wales
Models | Kendall Jenner, Yang Mi
Stylist | Clare Richardson
Music | Run It Up by DDG (featuring YBN Nahmir, G Herbo, Blac Youngsta)