A gorgeous shoe is a gorgeous shoe is a gorgeous shoe—except when the shoe is actually a metaphor for desire. In that case, the gorgeous shoe is actually a story. Consider, then, the new Jimmy Choo collection, Vices, a short story collection that’s long on style. Each of the limited-edition shoes and handbags is based on a specific gem or jewel and a specific vice or vague wickedness—think greed, lust, envy. To find out more about this accessories-based riff on the classic juxtaposition of good and evil, we spoke to creative director Sandra Choi about her inspiration, concepts and design process.
THE THREAD: The subject of vices is a rich one; we all have plenty–those we share and admit to, and those we don’t. Did you find you were revealing part of yourself in this collection as you explored ideas of envy and need?
Choi: Yes and no, the inspiration for the Vices collection stemmed from my own personal fascination and obsessive enchantment with jewels and the unmitigated and irrational desire they have the power to evoke. For Vices, I explored themes of envy, seduction and irrepressible yearning for objects of beauty. Shoes and bags in diamond, ruby, sapphire, emerald, jet, black diamond and citrine crystal comprise the seven sins that seduce and beguile as part of the collection.
What is your first and most specific memory of being dazzled by jewels?
It was at the Gem Palace in Jaipur. It is a breathtaking Aladdin’s cave of precious stones that is such a surprising contrast from the environment outside, which is a dusty and bustling city in Northern India. Inside the Gem Palace you have a remarkable amount of freedom to play and connect with the precious stones of every variety.
What is your first and most specific memory of the transformative power of a really great pair of shoes?
For me it is childhood memories of Cinderella, Dorothy’s ruby slippers and Betty Boop’s heels; they are forever ingrained in me.
Let’s talk about black diamonds. They’re a bit under the radar and rather underappreciated, so it’s cool that you included a style based on this, the strongest and scrappiest of all natural diamonds. Tell us about your design process for Piper, the black diamond-themed shoe. For instance, the heel is slightly lower than the other styles, and the detailing is especially dynamic. What did you hope to achieve with the look, and what specific elements did you include or leave out in order to make it happen?
I wanted a sultry yet seductively beautiful shoe. I based it on a tango-style shoe that ensured you glide when wearing it; it is a shoe that you can dance in all night.
SHOP: Jimmy Choo
Images and video courtesy Jimmy Choo