Jimmy Choo and Rob Pruitt Collaboration 2013

When it came time to create Jimmy Choo’s Spring/Summer 2013 cruise collection, Rob Pruitt stood out to the brands creative directors Sandra Choi and Simon Holloway. Jimmy Choo being the shoe mogul and Rob Pruitt being a contemporary artist who first made a name for himself in the late eighties. He continues to be well known today and can also be called a Neo-Pop artist.

Pruitt, Choi and Holloway decided to collaborate not only on shoes but on bags and other items as well. A scarf, keychain and luggage tag are just some of what was made. Out of the 19 pieces created we may be partial to the minaudierè sets that are shaped like angel and devil pandas. Can you blame us? They were each made with more than 11,000 Swarovski crystals, which were applied by hand, and only 14 pairs were made. True works of art if you ask us! They were even signed by Pruitt.

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Minaudierès from Jimmy Choo’s Spring/Summer 2013 cruise collection (L) An open minaudierè (R) 

They were made to symbolize the Jimmy Choo woman. Pruitt said, “I think there is a certain amount of role-playing fantasy that goes into the ritual of buying shoes and I wanted to play up that idea literally with the angel and devil panda; it’s the classic good girl/ bad girl play.”

Why were pandas used? If you’re familiar with Pruitt’s work, he incorporates them a lot in his art. He said, “The panda is this great International symbol that for me suggests that we need to tread lightly in terms of environmental concerns and is the ultimate symbol of adorability.”

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A luggage tag from Jimmy Choo’s Spring/Summer 2013 cruise collection (L) Sexy Girl, 2011 By Rob Pruitt (R)

Also part of the collection and seen in Pruitt’s work is a gradient motif. He used dégradé specifically in a series of paintings with abstract faces and it was incorporated into the lining of pink packaging that was made as well. Each item came with a dust bag and box and tissue paper was sealed with stickers.

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Packaging from Jimmy Choo’s Spring/Summer 2013 cruise collection 

What was packed in these fun boxes may have had zebra print, leopard print and/or French lace on them. Glitter and other details were also used and brought a cheerfulness to the collection. We’d have to say the use of sprinkles pulled the most weight in this department. Yes I’m talking about the things some of us shovel onto our ice cream, which are also called jimmies. Pruitt said, “I knew from the beginning I wanted to sprinkle ice cream jimmies on the shoes because of the name Jimmy Choo, and that’s something that we did.” Exclusive materials were used, soles were hand finished and a vibrant collection was definitely made.

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A clutch from Jimmy Choo’s Spring/Summer 2013 cruise collection (L) Sweet Revenge, 2012 By Rob Pruitt (R)

“When the invitation came, it was about making a collection for cruise wear. So I was thinking about most of the winter still ahead and a cruise being like a moment to fly somewhere tropical and be somebody that you haven’t necessarily been before. That’s why the collection looks the way it looks, with all those hot colors and clashing designs,” said Pruitt.

One might have guessed the collection would be lively because of the fact that Pruitt always has an element of shock in his work. The American artist creates a range of things including paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations that have been shown around the world. An achievement any artist would be proud of but talking about his work Pruitt said, “I would feel terribly sad if it only had an existence on the walls of galleries and, hopefully, museums.” It makes sense that he also said that when Jimmy Choo asked him about the partnership it was one of the best offers he’d ever gotten. Now his art completes outfits and lives walking down streets, no doubt catching peoples eyes along the way.

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A clutch from Jimmy Choo’s Spring/Summer 2013 cruise collection (L) Glitter and Enamel on Canvas, 2011 By Rob Pruitt (R)

“I use a lot of glitter in my work…I like to think about the way birds and bees are attracted to the architectural and colorful audacity of a flower and that’s what I do with the glitter. I try to get the viewer standing in front of the painting to have that magnetism that the birds and bees have towards flowers towards my paintings. The woman that buys these shoes I would like to see drawn to the shoe with that spirit in mind. That she’s in front of something that is absolutely irresistible…”

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Stilettos from Jimmy Choo’s Spring/Summer 2013 cruise collection (L) Sick Obsession with Glitter, 2006 By Rob Pruitt (R)

People are definitely drawn to his work and not just because of glitter. Wouldn’t a cocaine buffet catch your eye? It’s not something you see every day. Pruitt had spent several years away from the art world after getting backlash for work he did with his then partner Jack Early. In 1998 he returned as a solo artist and at a group show in New York City’s Meatpacking District, decided to make a peace offering to the art world. He did this in the form of a sixteen foot line of cocaine. It was on a long mirror, which was lying on the floor and guests were able to use it. Years later he also did an installation titled Cocaine Buffet Grand Prix. It was once again cocaine on a long mirror but this time it looked like a race track.

A family friendly piece that you wouldn’t mind your kids being around was also in NYC and stood 10 feet tall at Union Square West. It was a chrome statue of Andy Warhol and was placed outside of where he had one of his “Factories” (or studios).

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The Andy Monument, 2011 By Rob Pruitt

Other works by Pruitt incorporate blue jeans and found objects such as shoe laces, traffic cones and syrup bottles. Having gotten recognition for his art, the Guggenheim Museum approached him about reimagining their annual fundraising gala. He agreed to plan it and decided to do an art world Academy Awards. Speaking about it he said, “It would basically follow the format of the Oscars as closely as we could and make it this super-entertaining parody. But I wanted it to have its own integrity as well, where we could do it year after year and the recipients would be proud for having won and would display their trophies on their mantels.”

Rob Pruitt Is unconventional. Choi and Holloway realized this and made the great decision to work with him. “His use of colors is fantastic, glamour is very much in his art, and then we share this passion about glitter—he uses glitter in making his art, and we do that too. So we thought, why not?” Choi said this and Holloway went on to say “We were able to take his art and deconstruct it and then reapply it to shoes and bags in ways that really animate the styles.”

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Shoes from Jimmy Choo’s Spring/Summer 2013 cruise collection (L) Radioactive Cheetah, 2013 By Rob Pruitt (L)

Along with the collection that was created, an advertising campaign and a quirky video, much like a video game, were made. Click here to watch the video. The campaign was shot by Sølve Sundsbø and the video was done by Jo Ratcliffe.

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Part of Jimmy Choo’s Spring/Summer 2013 cruise collection advertising campaign 

We almost got sunglasses out of the collaboration as well. Pruitt wanted to do an entire line and Jimmy Choo was on board. They began to work on them but sadly there wasn’t enough time. The artist said he wanted them to be “like the kind that Elton John would perform in in the ’70s with big star shapes.” We’re sorry we missed out on the sunglasses but we’re definitely happy with what was produced.