A digital collaboration, a phenomenon made possible by the viral nature of the Instagram network of Brazilian artist Rafael Mantesso and Jimmy Choo creative director Sandra Choi.
“All of a sudden, my friends from all over the world began to send me links to the enchanting work of Raphael, depicting his cute English bull terrier, Jimi Chu. I was immediately fascinated by the way he implants his adorable dog into works of art. I've never seen anything like it! His work is so funny, talented and witty … We instantly became friends online. I just knew that I had to incorporate his work into our collection. "Sandra Choi, Creative Director.
Left alone in an apartment empty after a divorce, the artist Mantesso filled the empty space of his house with bizarre images. His beloved English Bull Terrier, Jimi Chu, was intelligently placed among the sketches, which led to this artistic collaboration. Transforming his unhappy personal life into noisy fun, Mantesso created even more illustrated scenarios for his dog Jimi, photographing him in funny and affectionate poses, while reproducing all sorts of unusual activities - from police identification to fashion shows and karaoke contests.
Whimsical drawings depicting the beloved bull terrier Mantesso have attracted the attention of the whole world; they were broadcast in the world media, presenting the artist and his dog as a sensation. Sandra Choi, Creative Director of Jimmy Choo, was so enamored with these enchanting designs that she contacted the artist directly for a series of fun, sly designs to decorate the Jimmy Choo accessory collection. A short animated film was also produced that showcases a humorous take on the character of Jimi, the muse of the collection.
The collaboration is represented by a limited edition collection that will be released on May 15 as part of Pre-Fall 15 and will include tote bags, cosmetic and handbags, wallets and iPhone cases. All merchandise will feature a series of three exclusive drawings depicting Raphael the Bull Terrier dreaming of shoes, relaxing on the sofa with a glass of martini, or playing as a DJ with records on a tape recorder. Set against a matte white background, the illustrations are humorous and eye-catching with bright flashes of iridescent colors of hot pink, copper and electric blue. The collection will also showcase two styles of dog collars for the first time, thus ensuring that the dog and the owner have equal access to accessories.
To highlight the playful spirit of the collection, Jimmy Choo also presents a short animated film directed by Joe Ratcliffe. Best known for her quirky, hand-drawn characters, Ratcliffe directed and illustrated a cartoon that tells the story of a day in the life of the now famous English Bull Terrier Jimi.