The latest limited-edition range from Jimmy Choo is both a testament to the power of social media and an example of triumph over adversity. It starts with a charming, if sad, story and ends with a win-win situation for everyone involved – the artist, the brand and the consumer. It began when well-known Brazilian artist and illustrator Rafael Mantesso wanted to buy a dog, to the annoyance of his wife, who agreed only if she could call it Jimmy Choo. When they divorced some time later she left the dog but took most of the furniture – Mantesso’s response was to draw replacement items on the walls and floors and soon found “Jimmy Choo” unwittingly posing on the drawings.
He posted whimsical pictures of the dog on Instagram and they came to the attention of Sandra Choi, the shoe brand’s creative director. “Suddenly, friends all over the world were forwarding me links to Rafael’s enchanting work, with this loveable dog animated into the artwork,” she says. “We struck up an online friendship and I just had to incorporate the illustrations into a collection.” With a little sleight of pen, Mantesso has “Jimmy Choo” relax on a sofa with a martini, work the decks or dream of shoes.
Printed onto matte white-coated canvas, the motifs make for a lighthearted summer range. The headline item is a large tote trimmed with bright metallic leather in copper or pink (£695). Matching handbag pouches (£225) and cosmetics bags (£295, first picture), in the print or plain metallic leather, ensure that small items don’t get lost, and there is also an iPhone case. Studded white (second picture) or silver leather dog collars (£295) mean your canine best friend is as well-dressed as you are. The range arrives at Jimmy Choo flagships and online on May 15; there is only one hit and, with its combined appeal to dog-lovers and shoe-hounds, it is unlikely to last long.