We were thrilled to hear this week that the long-promised shoe exhibit at Paisley Park is finally due to open on July 9th. And even better news, the display will be included on every level of Paisley Park Tour ticket.
According to one source there are over 1,000 pairs of Prince’s shoes in the Paisley Park collection, and over 300 have been carefully selected for this exhibit, which will even include pair of light up roller boots!
The majority of Prince’s 3 ½ - 4-inch heels were custom made by Andre No 1, a Hollywood legend. Started by Andre Rostomyan over 50 years ago and now run by his nephew Gary Kazanchhyan. Their client list includes Frank Sinatra, Janet Jackson, Kiss, Lady Gaga and many more, Prince, however, was one of their loyalist customers.
Making a pair of boots for Prince cannot have been the easiest of commissions, because these boots were not just made for walking, they needed to stand up to Prince’s amazing stage performances including jumps from various pianos and risers, spins, and those legendary splits. To accommodate this the boots were made with a heavier wood to give added impact absorption and the heels were given extra support with a stainless-steel bar.
Several pairs of shoes were included during the My Name Is Prince Exhibition staged in London and Amsterdam, including those worn to the Oscars in 1985. Having the privilege of attending the press launch for the London run we were able to take photographs of the exhibits and have included some here. Being able to view these items up close is fascinating, not only seeing the incredible workmanship but also the marks of wear.
Prince was quoted as saying “People say I'm wearing heels because I'm short. I wear heels because the women like 'em.” but it wasn’t just his iconic heeled boots that were made by Andre No. 1, do you remember the flat-form stacked flip-flops that Prince was rocking off stage in the mid 2000’s? They were custom made by the same company.
Always made in matching fabrics to his clothes, and often further customised with added charms on the zips (from peace signs to batman logos to different evolving versions of his symbol) this display of footwear will truly deserve its title of The Beautiful Collection.