Manolo Blahnik has teamed with Mimi Plange to create two pairs of custom shoes that will debut at Plange’s New York Fashion Week show on Sept. 7 at the Asia Society.
Inspired by her native Africa, Plange told WWD that the shoes reflect elements of the Victorian dress of the Herero tribe and the traditional dress of the Himba women of Namibia.
“I wanted both shoes to be modern and [fashion] forward while paying tribute to the traditional craftsmanship of Namibia, and I also wanted to keep the integrity of the original Manolo Blahnik shoe,” she said.
The first look, an eggshell blue high-heel sandal pays tribute to Blahnik’s signature style, and is paired with a handmade leather tassel inspired by African leatherwork. The second shoe, a silk ankle bootie, weaves South African pattern beadwork, and is evocative of the floral prints used in Plange’s spring 2012 collection.
“After my friend André Leon Talley first showed me Mimi’s work, I knew she’d be a great talent and up-and-coming designer,” said George Malkemus, president of Manolo Blahnik USA.
Plange also credits Talley, whom she refers to as her “mentor,” as having played an instrumental role in the collaboration. The contributing Vogue editor suggested Plange pair her fall collection with Blahnik’s shoes.
Manolo Blahnik for Mimi Plange shoes will be available for special order at Manolo Blahnik. A price point has yet to be determined.