Brazilian illustrator Rafael Mantesso named his English bull terrier Jimmy Choo. His humorous juxtaposition of photography and illustrations has made Jimmy a social media sensation, counting more than 237,000 fans on Instagram.

Guess what that led him to? Luxury fashion maison Jimmy Choo collaborated with Mantesso to launch a pre-fall collection which includes bags, wallets and dog collars featuring his fun and quirky illustrations. The collection will be available at Jimmy Choo boutiques worldwide on May 15th. 

STYLE chatted with Mantesso about the project and much more. We’ve also caught Jimmy reading a latest copy of STYLE.

Q&A with Rafael Mantesso

Can you tell us what makes Jimmy tick? 

Sleeping, eating and playing. He is so much fun to be around with.

What inspired you to start the art project of juxtaposing illustration with photography?

I love all forms of art ... painting, drawing, photography. Illustration is such a great method as it allows for complete freedom of expression. The sketches are authentic without being too serious. The first photograph with Jimmy was a complete accident though. Following my divorce I found myself in an empty apartment and was trying to fill the void. Jimmy positioned himself near one of my sketches and I just thought it was cute so I took a photograph. Everything developed from there and we have been discovering what else we can do together.

How did Jimmy enjoy the fashion shoot for the capsule collection?

He loves [being taken photographs of] and being the centre of attention. There are definitely challenges and sometimes Jimmy is restless but we are a team and we understand each other’s moods and how to get the best from each other. I take him for a walk twice a day and always do the shoots after the walk when he is feeling a little tired.

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What has been most challenging part for Jimmy the dog to work with Jimmy Choo the luxury maison?

Working with a luxury brand, the expectations and attention to detail are incredibly high. Trying to get the best from Jimmy in order to meet this demand was the most challenging part. It is always going to be tricky working with animals, and maintaining Jimmy’s attention levels in order to get the best results was difficult at times. I also wanted to ensure that I captured the spirit of the brand while maintaining mine and Jimmy’s personality. Achieving this balance was demanding.

Can you share with us the perfect formula to groom a star pet?

Jimmy and I are best friends. I have given him my heart and he has given me his. Because of this great companionship we are always having fun together and creating silly moments. You just need to stay alert and capture these moments. I now always have my camera on me just in case Jimmy strikes a great pose that I need to photograph.

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