Annual Luncheon Benefits Educational Programs for NYC School Children
Iconic designer Stuart Weitzman will be honored at New-York Historical Society’s 2018 Strawberry Festival benefit luncheon, an annual event that dates back to 1856. The luncheon will take place on April 25 at the New-York Historical Society (170 Central Park West at 77th Street) and feature Mr. Weitzman in conversation with Vanessa Friedman, fashion director and chief fashion critic for the New York Times. Event check-in begins at 11:30 am. The Strawberry Festival coincides with Walk This Way: Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection of Historic Shoes, on view at New-York Historical April 20 – October 8, 2018.
“We are delighted to recognize Stuart Weitzman’s outstanding work in fashion and philanthropy with our Distinguished Service Medal at this year’s Strawberry Festival,” said Pam Schafler, chair of the New-York Historical Society’s Board of Trustees. “Mr. Weitzman has devoted his career to designing fashionable footwear that takes into account women’s lifestyles today. His philanthropy covers a broad range of interests including education for young people—a mission of paramount importance at New-York Historical. Mr. Weitzman’s remarkable collection of historic footwear, on view in our Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery at the time of the celebration, provides the perfect backdrop as we honor him and commemorate the first anniversary of our Center for Women’s History.”
Mr. Weitzman joins a remarkable list of people celebrated at the Strawberry Festival in prior years. Past honorees include Loretta Lynch, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Mika Brzezinski, Hillary Clinton, Kirsten Gillibrand, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Michelle Obama, Anna Quindlen, Christine Quinn, Cokie Roberts, Lesley Stahl, Pat Klingenstein, and Sue Ann Weinberg.
New-York Historical Society’s Strawberry Festival has long recognized honorees’ contributions to public life since its first gathering in 1856 when guests enjoyed a stimulating lecture and a strawberry feast in Washington Square Park. Funds raised from this event support crucial educational programs for New York City children and youth, as part of New-York Historical’s DiMenna Children’s History Museum and Barbara K. Lipman Children’s History Library. In addition to offering critical initiatives in history education for 200,000 New York City public school students annually, DCHM and Lipman Library have become magnets for underserved children and families, with scholarships offered for weekend and holiday family programs and summertime history camps.
New-York Historical’s Center for Women’s History—the first of its kind in the nation within the walls of a major museum—features the little and often unknown stories of women who have shaped and continue to shape the American experience. As a hub for scholarship and education, the Center demonstrates how women across the spectrum of race, class, and culture have exercised power and effected change long before the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, which made women full American citizens with the right to vote. Guided by a committee of distinguished historians and informed by the latest research, the Center features permanent installations, temporary exhibitions, and a vibrant array of talks and programs, enriching the cultural landscape of New York City and ushering in a new era of historical discovery.
Stuart Weitzman’s passion for designing women’s shoes has been a lifelong pursuit. He began working at his father’s Massachusetts shoe factory while still in college. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Mr. Weitzman applied himself to the industry with laser-like focus, eventually building the globally renowned company that bears his name. Today, his shoes dominate red carpet events and are worn by loyal celebrity fans such as Angelina Jolie, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, and Gigi Hadid—and by millions of women from more than 75 countries around the world. Mr. Weitzman approaches his other endeavors with equal commitment: He shares his free time with his wife Jane and their two daughters, aiding a number of philanthropic causes close to their hearts—including mentoring students on their budding entrepreneurial aspirations at his alma mater and other institutions—and participating in sports, including ping-pong.
On view in the Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery at New-York Historical’s Center for Women’s History, Walk This Way: Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection of Historic Shoes explores how shoes have transcended their utilitarian purpose to become representations of culture—coveted as objects of desire, designed with artistic consideration, and expressing complicated meanings of femininity, power, and aspiration for women and men alike. The exhibition features 130 pairs of shoes from the iconic designer’s extensive private collection, assembled over three decades with his wife Jane Gershon Weitzman, along with examples drawn from New-York Historical’s own collection. The exhibition catalog, Walk this Way: Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection, published by D Giles Limited, is available from the NYHistory Store and other retailers.
Ticket prices for the 2018 Strawberry Festival begin at $500, and table prices begin at $5,000.