Disney’s emphasis on exploring new ways to promote its movies has taken another giant leap fashion-forward with the upcoming Tron: Legacy. Disney executives hand-selected Balenciaga and Versace to design film-inspired women’s and menswear lines, respectively, as well as jewelry commissioned by Robin Rotenier and TomTom, handbags by Hayden-Harnett and unisex belts by Han Cholo. But among these Tron-inspired collaborations, it’s Jerome Rousseau’s exclusively designed shoes that are really kicking up a storm.
“When we first were given Tron to work a consumer prospective from, the edgy, high-tech aspect immediately inspired me to do something different—since we were not appealing to children or tweens, it was an enticing challenge and I immediately started looking for unusual suspects, and that’s when I came across an article on Jerome C. Rousseau,” explains Stephanie Kraus, VP Global Creative at Disney Consumer Products.
Riding high with a recent Who Is On Next In Accessories win and a Yoox.com Special Mention Award, a showing at Milan Fashion Week and a design cameo in The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, the LA-based designer was more than ready for this multimedia foray. As Disney executives began searching for a footwear designer who could capture the spirit of the movie in a shoe, Rousseau was busy in the infant stages of creating his spring/summer ‘11 line—drawing inspiration from the graphic lines of Keith Haring, the raw tribalism of Grace Jones and the enduring modernity of sci-fi films such as Metropolis and, appropriately enough, the original Tron. So perfect was this alignment, that when the email came through from Disney, Rousseau actually thought a friend who knew of his Tron-heavy inspiration was playing a prank on him.
Rousseau was shown clips from the new film for inspiration and given complete creative freedom without any design parameters, the result of which has yielded truly inspired pieces of architectural footwear that brilliantly create entirely new silhouettes. “I didn’t want to make something gimmicky,” Rousseau remarked when we sat down with him for a sneak peek. “I wanted it to be something women wanted to wear, not just a salute to Tron—something that conveyed the mood and cool modernity of Tron without falling into a trap of a contrived design.” The towering silver stilettos, named Quorra after the female lead, debuts mid-November at the LA Disney pop-up store, before expanding to select international retailers in February, 2011. Retailing for $795 a pair, these are a must-have item for shoe aficionados around the world.