WOW! Nan Goldin shoots the new Jimmy Choo campaign!

05 October 2011

Jimmy Choo by Nan Goldin

These feather-trimmed beauties took on a life of their own in Sex and the City

Grazia Daily were excited to hear about the latest pairing from the world of fashion brands and photography today – world famous art photographer, Nan Goldin, has shot a particularly delicate looking and individual campaign for Jimmy Choo’s latest initiative – their Icon collection. Wow! We’ve never heard of Nan working for a fashion brand like this before, she’s more usually associated with published books of photography, or her shows, which take the form of slideshows. Her style, which has become widely imitated since she became successful, was considered more than radical at the time – she first came to prominence in the 1970’s and 80’s.

The Ballad of Sexual Dependency by Nan Goldin

One of Nan's most famous ouevres - The Ballad of Sexual Dependency

Her modus operandi of photographing herself and her friends, not in a studio, but in their homes with natural light and while going about their business, rather than posed artificially, defied categorisation at first, being neither amateur snaps, nor reportage exactly, because the scenes were all so autobiographical. She documented punk and club culture in New York, including photos of drag queens, who at the time were outcast from mainstream society – nothing newsworthy today but extremely subversive in those days before counter culture became co-opted by the mainstream to create ‘cool’ branding initiatives.


Goldin sees herself as a defender of the real, the raw and the unaltered. She has stated that the original motivation to take photographs was 'to make a record against revisionism and to retain memory'. Goldin’s work has been the subject of two major touring retrospectives: one organized in 1996 by the Whitney Museum of American Art and another, in 2001, by the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, and continues to show her work around the work. We even heard that she distrusts digital methods, for not being a true record, because Photoshop renders everything subject to tampering - and only shoots on film.


The idea behind the limited collection of posh shoes is a re-issue of classic styles from the company’s archive. The styles will be available exactly as they were made, as well as in an updated version. They are frightfully glamorous, and include these blue and violet feathered numbers, (top picture) as worn by SJP in Sex and The City, and these rather naughty zebra print platforms with a rose garland. Part of the proceeds from the collection will go to Jimmy Choo’s new foundation, set up by Tamara Mellon to help women’s rights.

And here we have some footage of the lady herself on set with the shoes!

 Jimmy Choo by Nan Goldin

It really is a brilliant choice of photographer from the global shoe brand – and quite a coup as art photographers rarely venture into the world of commerce. Although luminaries of the world of fashion or celebrity portraiture, such as Mario Testino or Annie Leibowitz will be celebrated in retrospectives, after many years in their career, movement in the opposite direction is more unusual. Three notable exceptions to the rule that we could drum up, with the help of Grazia fashion pictures editor Marc Morgan, were;

The art photographer with a porn sensibility, Jeff Burton, who was hired by Tom Ford back in the heady days of Gucci to snap their campaigns with such successful results that he’s almost become Tom’s house photographer, creating portraits of him to accompany magazine features too while keeping up with his art projects and own exhibitions.

 Cindy Sherman for M.A.C

Cindy Sherman, another American fine art photographer who uses herself as her subject matter (and is paid handsomely for it), who has worked for M.A.C recently, and in the past worked on collaborations with the amazing Japanese conceptual label, Comme Des Garcons. Having been spotted on the front row at the Stella McCartney show in Paris this week, tongues have started to wag that she might be the latest designer that Sherman will work with.

 Ryan McGinley for Stella McCartney

Thirdly we thought of Ryan McGinley, everyone’s favourite ‘models flying through the air’ lensman. His art photos – stripped back in more than one way, of naked teenagers climbing tree’s or cuddling on sofas (and of course jumping, running or flying through the air) have a high powered fan in Stella McCartney. She has used him to create her fragrance campaigns in the past, with a close up of a barefaced Anna Jagodzinska with wisps of hair blowing in her face. Beautiful.

- Naomi Attwood


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