Tamara Mellon is ready to offer handbag junkies and contemporary art lovers a fresh object of desire.
Mellon will unveil two limited edition bags — a clutch and a tote — at Art Basel Miami Beach this week that are the results of a collaboration with artist Richard Phillips, known for his close-up paintings of media images.
Both bags feature part of his paintings of beauty advertisements from the Sixties and Seventies. The Magazine is a hard-resin clutch that resembles a glossy folded in two. It shows a woman's eyes glowing with green eye shadow and mile-long lashes, and was taken from the artist's 1997 portrait, "Nuclear.''
The Tote is made from PVC-coated canvas. It has been covered with black-and-white images of women's faces adapted from the 1998 painting "Riot.'' The only color on the bag comes from the women's bright eye shadow.
"For a while, we'd been wanting to do something with a contemporary artist, and I am obsessed with Richard Phillips' work, especially his paintings of ad campaigns from the Sixties and Seventies," Mellon, president of Jimmy Choo, said in an interview in her London office. "There's a space on my wall at home that I am saving for one of his paintings."
The clutch will retail for $595 and the tote will sell for $975. Both bags are for spring and will be sold at Jimmy Choo stores worldwide, and through some wholesale accounts, starting in January.
"I didn't want to make these bags $5,000," Mellon said. "I wanted to make them available to a wider audience. I'm also hoping that younger customers, who wouldn't necessarily be able to afford our core product, can buy these."
The average price for a Jimmy Choo bag is about 1,000 pounds, or $2,080.
"People are so fascinated by contemporary art today," she said. "I want our customers to feel they're carrying a piece of art."
Mellon also plans to host a dinner for Phillips at Art Basel Miami Beach, which runs from Thursday to Sunday.
The Jimmy Choo-Richard Phillips collaboration isn't the first time a luxury house has joined forces with a contemporary artist. Louis Vuitton has worked with Takashi Murakami and Richard Prince on bags, Longchamps and Tracey Emin also created a bag together, and London's Serpentine Gallery has just "curated" a bag for Puma, to name just a few."When I heard that Tamara considered 'Nuclear' to be an inspiration, I was very flattered," Phillips said. "When she eventually contacted me, it was like the circle had closed. I'm interested in the way in which art makes its way into the world and how it reaches the public, and I'm also interested in how certain images can flow through the media, and become objects, how their power can go beyond the visual to become tactile."
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
After showing in front of the Eiffel Tower for his last two women’s ready-to-wear collection, it looks like @anthonyvaccarello may be heading to the Big Apple. Sources say the designer will stage his next @ysl show in NYC on June 6. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion