‘The Beautiful Collection’: Preview Exhibit Dedicated to Prince’s Iconic Footwear
Prince’s massive shoe collection — the breadth of which could rival the late icon’s legendary musical vault — will be the focus of a new exhibit coming to Paisley Park this July.
The Beautiful Collection: Prince’s Custom Shoes will feature over 300 pairs of Prince kicks, from stage-worn platform sneakers to custom-made ankle boots to roller skates. The exhibit will also feature the stories behind the shoes, videos of Prince and his footwear in action, as well as recorded accounts from the designers like Donatella Versace and longtime Prince shoemakers Andre No.1 and Cos Kyriacou.
Ahead of the collection’s limited-run arrival starting July 9th at Prince’s Chanhassen, Minnesota studio-turned-museum, Rolling Stone is offering a sneak peek at the exhibit with eight pairs of Prince’s iconic custom-made ankle boots, including his famed, hand-painted “Raspberry Beret” pair from the music video, his orange-and-purple Batman-era boots with the Dark Knight’s symbol on the toe, and his green, number-patterned shoes from the LoveSexy tour in 1988.
“Prince continuously pushed the boundaries of fashion, music, and culture in general,” Paisley Park managing director and collection curator Mitch Maguire said in a statement. “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.”
The Beautiful Collection exhibit will be included as part of all Paisley Park tours starting July 9th.
Welcome 2 America Tour (2010-2011)
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, among others. The production toured throughout the United States before proceeding internationally, where each leg was marked by the “Welcome 2” moniker, followed by the continent.
Raspberry Beret (1986)
Prince rocked these iconic blue ankle boots with hand-painted white clouds in his “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.
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.
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 15th, 2004.
Diamonds Are Forever (1999)
Prince wore these black shoes with gold lame stripes and Love Symbol #2 zipper pulls, along with a matching turtleneck sweater, when he and his then-wife Mayte Garcia met Prince Charles at the De Beers and Versace “Diamonds Are Forever” charity fashion gala on June 9th, 1999, in West London.
In 1985, Prince took to the American Music Awards 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.”
Cherry Moon (1986)
These shoes were featured throughout Prince’s Parade Tour of 1986, as well as in the 1986 film Under the Cherry Moon. Their heels show the wear and strain Prince placed on his shoes during his intense live performances, often dancing and doing splits.
These green shoes, featuring a black letter and number pattern, were designed by Helen Hiatt. Hiatt worked as the Wardrobe Director for the LoveSexy Tour, which would be Prince’s eighth tour and final tour of the 1980s. Several of the zipper pulls in Prince’s shoe collection are plated with gold; the peace sign pulls on these shoes are one such example.