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 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.”
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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