Inviting a street artist like Haze to design a collection is a new venture for Jimmy Choo, who has released a limited number of artist collaborations, aside from those with illustrator Rafael Mantesso and painter Robb Pruitt.
This extensive collaborative capsule of men’s, women’s, and unisex footwear resulted from Haze working closely with Jimmy Choo’s creative director, Sandra Choi, and leading Japanese curator Poggy.
The new launch with Haze is likely part of Jimmy Choo’s wider strategy to gain more popular culture relevance.
Over the past 30 years, artist Eric Haze has designed watches for G-Shock, streetwear for Huf, album covers for The Beastie Boys and Public Enemy, and Air Force 1s for Nike; he even has a Beijing Olympics collaboration on the horizon. Yet, despite being a consistent collaborator, Haze’s latest collection with globally-renowned fashion label Jimmy Choo marks his first foray into luxury fashion.
“Hopefully, it elevates the public perception of what my brand stands for and where we have arrived,” said Haze, in a conversation with Jing Daily. And this collaboration is likely just the start of Haze’s journey into high-end retail, particularly as he increases his focus on China and the Asian market, which boasts the world’s leading luxury consumers. “I think [this collaboration] has achieved a new level of sophistication for my brand, as well,” he added. “The range and quality of the materials used are spectacular.”
The extensive capsule of men’s, women’s, and unisex footwear — accompanied by accessories and a Be@rbrick collectible — was a result of Haze working closely with Jimmy Choo’s creative director, Sandra Choi, and leading Japanese curator Poggy (who helped fine-tune the final choices and the style). The entire collection’s aesthetic is a marriage of Jimmy Choo’s premium quality and craft and Haze’s street-art-inspired imprint, from embellishments resembling his trademark star icon to the name “Jimmy Choo” printed in a graffiti font across the Lise leather cardholders.
Haze was free to work his magic, and the artist confirmed as much. “Jimmy Choo gave me so much creative freedom in the beginning that when it came time to turn over the creative assets to their team for production, I also trusted the overall vision so much that I gave them an unusual amount of freedom to take liberties and new directions with our ‘Star Icon’ brand mark.”
Inviting a street artist like Haze to design a collection is a new venture for Jimmy Choo, who has released a limited number of artist collaborations, aside from those with illustrator Rafael Mantesso and painter Robb Pruitt. However, the move is unsurprising in a year replete with street-artist collabs (take Jean-Michel Basquiat x Yves Saint Laurent, Kenny Scharf x Dior, and Keith Haring x Coach, for example).
The new launch with Haze is likely part of Jimmy Choo’s wider strategy to gain more popular culture relevance. In this past year alone, the brand chose Daisy Edgar-Jones (from the trending 2020 series Normal People) to front its Fall/Winter 2020 campaign, collaborated with celebrity-favorite designer Marine Serre, and featured style icon Hailey Bieber in its Fall/Winter 2021 campaign. And amid the current overflow of brand-artist collabs, Jimmy Choo’s latest project with Haze is a natural addition.
The definition of artist in 2021 is loose, but one could argue that it most applies to the rare breed of creative polymath like Haze. “[This collaboration] stands to further break down the barriers between what I do as an artist, designer, and creative director by pushing the always direct relationship between these elements,” he said. “I have increasingly focused on making sure that, even if the result is a pure product, that some personal ‘fingerprints’ remain on everything I do these days. I believe that our Jimmy Choo Collection perfectly represents that philosophy.”
And it is those authentic fingerprints which provide Jimmy Choo with a slice of ‘80s street art culture, as the two have created their own segment of the movement that Haze’s artwork is regularly associated with, via a collaborative collection.
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