Prince’s ‘Beautiful Collection’ of custom shoes on show at Paisley Park

Prince wore these iconic blue ankle boots with hand-painted white clouds in his 1986 Raspberry Beret music video, along with a matching suit. These shoes were made before Prince had his cobblers reinforce his heels, so two identical pairs of the shoes were made for (and survived) the arduous production of the music video. Photo credit: John Wagner Photography © 1985-2021 The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson. All rights reserved.

Prince wore these iconic blue ankle boots with hand-painted white clouds in his 1986 Raspberry Beret music video, along with a matching suit. These shoes were made before Prince had his cobblers reinforce his heels, so two identical pairs of the shoes were made for (and survived) the arduous production of the music video. Photo credit: John Wagner Photography © 1985-2021 The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson. All rights reserved.

CHANHASSEN, Minn. – The Prince Estate and Paisley Park unveiled a new exhibition celebrating the legacy and artistry of the incomparable Prince. The Beautiful Collection: Prince’s Custom Shoes is the largest ever display to spotlight Prince’s footwear, featuring more than 300 pairs of his iconic shoes in a technologically advanced installation that is now open and a part of all tours at Paisley Park. The show will remain on view until at least the end of 2021, and possibly longer.

The exhibition further highlights Prince’s impact on fashion, music, and popular culture. Prince challenged conventional fashion norms, inspiring designers and consumers to rethink how people should dress. His unique fashion sensibility, drawing on inspirations both masculine and feminine, and accessorizing nearly every outfit with a pair of custom made high-heeled boots, fearlessly pushed the envelope.

Prince performing onstage in an impeccable rock star ensemble that includes silver ankle boots. Photo credit: Kevin Mazur © 1985-2021 The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson. All rights reserved.

Prince performing onstage in an impeccable rock star ensemble that includes silver ankle boots. Photo credit: Kevin Mazur © 1985-2021 The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson. All rights reserved.

“Prince continuously pushed the boundaries of fashion, music, and culture in general,” said Mitch Maguire, Paisley Park Managing Director and The Beautiful Collection curator. “His expansive, incredible shoe collection is just one example of his artistic expression, personality, and lasting impact on fashion. When guests visit this exhibition, they will be immersed in the drama, taste, and complexity of Prince while also revealing some of the collaborators who worked so closely to bring his vision to life.”

Prince donned these reinforced, gem-studded white shoes throughout his 2004 Musicology Live 4ever tour and during his induction ceremony into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 15, 2004. Photo credit: John Wagner Photography © 1985-2021 The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson. All rights reserved.

Prince donned these reinforced, gem-studded white shoes throughout his 2004 Musicology Live 4ever tour and during his induction ceremony into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 15, 2004. Photo credit: John Wagner Photography © 1985-2021 The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson. All rights reserved.

Visitors will become acquainted with Prince’s vibrantly patterned, custom-built collection of boots, platform sneakers, roller skates, and the stories behind them, in a newly designed area that provides a truly unique experience. Bringing the exhibition to life will be carefully crafted displays, including the world’s first 3D printed baby grand piano display case, built by 3D printing innovator Stratasys.

Prince wore these gold metallic shoes during his 2010-2011 Welcome 2 America tour. All shows were performed on Prince’s iconic Love Symbol stage and featured appearances by several guest stars, including Janelle Monae, Alicia Keys, and Questlove. The production toured throughout the United States before proceeding internationally, where each leg was marked by the “Welcome 2” moniker, followed by the continent. Photo credit: Tony Sylvers. © 1985-2021 The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson. All rights reserved.

Prince wore these gold metallic shoes during his 2010-2011 Welcome 2 America tour. All shows were performed on Prince’s iconic Love Symbol stage and featured appearances by several guest stars, including Janelle Monae, Alicia Keys, and Questlove. The production toured throughout the United States before proceeding internationally, where each leg was marked by the “Welcome 2” moniker, followed by the continent. Photo credit: Tony Sylvers. © 1985-2021 The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson. All rights reserved.

Video clips of Prince and his shoes in action; recorded accounts from the shoemakers who created an extraordinary collection durable enough to withstand dancing, doing the splits, and jumping off pianos; and a large 3D printed polymer image of Prince (printed by Stratasys) consisting of more than 347,000 individual dots will also be showcased.

The Beautiful Collection exhibit features approximately 300 pairs of Prince’s iconic shoes. Many are displayed in an eight-tiered display case made from repurposed guitar cases. Mirrors are used to enhance the exhibition experience and make the highest shelf viewable to all. Photo credit: Tony Sylvers © 1985-2021 The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson. All rights reserved.

The Beautiful Collection exhibit features more than 300 pairs of Prince’s iconic shoes, many displayed in an eight-tiered case made from repurposed guitar cases. Mirrors are used to enhance the exhibition experience and make the highest shelf viewable to all. Photo credit: Tony Sylvers © 1985-2021 The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson. All rights reserved.

The more than 300 pairs of shoes on display will include some of Prince’s most iconic pairs, including the blue ankle boots hand-painted with white clouds featured in the Raspberry Beret music video; his signature Versace fabric heeled boots; and the blue beaded pair worn to the 57 th Academy Awards, where Prince accepted the Academy Award for Best Original Score for Purple Rain.

Following the wildly successful release of his 1989 Batman soundtrack album, most of Prince’s shoes were in Joker colors (orange and purple) or Batman colors (black, gray and gold). Many pairs featured a Batman symbol on the toe, like this pair, which also sports a gold peace sign zipper pull. Photo credit: Tony Sylvers © 1985-2021 The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson. All rights reserved.

Following the wildly successful release of his 1989 Batman soundtrack album, most of Prince’s shoes were in Joker colors (orange and purple) or Batman colors (black, gray and gold). Many pairs featured a Batman symbol on the toe, like this pair, which also sports a gold peace sign zipper pull. Photo credit: Tony Sylvers © 1985-2021 The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson. All rights reserved.

Also included will be shoes he wore to make a statement such as the pair adorned with the gold metallic “Free Music” sticker highlighting the complex relationship between recording artists and record labels, and the wooden shoe last crafted to emulate Prince’s foot in order to create his custom-made shoes. Among the designers featured are Donatella Versace with whom Prince had a long-standing collaboration, and longtime Prince shoemakers Andre No.1 and Cos Kyriacou.

In 1985, Prince took to the American Music Award stage in these shoes to perform Purple Rain. That evening, he took home trophies for Best Soul/R&B Album and Best Pop/Rock Album for Purple Rain, as well as Best Soul/R&B Single for When Doves Cry. Photo credit: Tony Sylvers © 1985-2021 The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson. All rights reserved.

In 1985, Prince took to the American Music Award stage in these shoes to perform Purple Rain. That evening, he took home trophies for Best Soul/R&B Album and Best Pop/Rock Album for Purple Rain, as well as Best Soul/R&B Single for When Doves Cry. Photo credit: Tony Sylvers © 1985-2021 The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson. All rights reserved.

The Beautiful Collection: Prince’s Custom Shoes was designed by Paisley Park’s Duff Eisenschenk and curated by the Paisley Park Museum Collections team including Mitch Maguire, Makayla Elder and Heather Cattnach. Exhibition lighting is provided by Nova Flex LED.

Visit the website for Paisley Park and see its dedicated page for The Beautiful Collection: Prince’s Custom Shoes.

# # #