When you think Jimmy Choo, you think opulence. You think elegance. You probably don't think centuries-old handcraft techniques but, here we are, admiring the Jimmy Choo x BUAISOU collection.
You may recognize the name BUAISOU from the dye company's Nike ISPA Drifter collab last year but BUAISOU is much more than indigo-dyed sneakers. Nope, BUAISOU is indigo-dyed everything.
Located in Tokushima, on the Japanese island of Shikoku, BUAISOU represents traditional Japanese craft for the modern age.
BUAISOU was founded in 2015 with the intent of unifying the multilayered process of creating indigo dye.
An inherently laborious process, organic indigo dying demands raw indigo carefully cultivated from leaves, vats for soaking textiles, and expert attention to detail to ensure proper distribution of dye.
This used to be handled by multiple overseers in the old days but BUAISOU does it all in-house, even producing its own indigo-soaked clothing under the same roof that it dyes third-party textiles.
BUAISOU product ain't cheap because it's the real deal. Quality indigo dye is painstaking to produce and immeasurably higher quality than the inorganic stuff, so you get what you pay for.
Hence why Jimmy Choo partnered with the Japanese brand — if you want the best, you don't settle.
Available on Jimmy Choo's website, Japanese flagships, and international outlets in due time, the Jimmy Choo x BUAISOU collection is 13 pieces strong.
The bags, accessories, and footwear comprises 160 meters of indigo cotton, hand-dyed by BUAISOU in Japan and then handmade into the finished products in Choo's Italian workshop.
In a way, Jimmy Choo x BUAISOU reflects that contrast between old-world craft and new-school luxury. BUAISOU and Choo approach luxury from separate ends of the fashion industry's spectrum, but the resulting products are no less opulent than the typical high-end shoes you see on Madison Avenue.
Indeed, given the nature of true indigo dye and hands-on production, they're arguably even nicer.
Also in line with the nature of these one-off goods, each product is utterly unique and the prices are indicative of this: bags range from ¥221,100 (approximately $1,605) for a large tote to ¥393,800 (approx. $2,859) for the star-studded Bon Bon bucket bag, whereas the Esra loafer is ¥147,400 (approx. $1,070) and Bing 65 heel is ¥155,100 (approx. $1,126).
"As well as promoting and preserving craft, Jimmy Choo is now committed to exploring innovative ways to be more sustainable," Sandra Choi, Jimmy Choo creative director, said in a statement.
"BUAISOU talks to both elements. I was captivated by the entire process, from the cultivation and fermentation of natural indigo plants through to the production of dye and creation of one-of-a-kind indigo fabrics."