LONDON — Manolo Blahnik continues to strengthen its position in Asia with a retail location set to open in Singapore next month.
The store will be located at the Marina Bay Sands shopping mall, which has the largest portfolio of designer boutiques in Asia.
The triple tower complex, one of the biggest attractions in Singapore, also brings together a luxury hotel, casino, museum, restaurants and theaters topped with an infinity pool and a sky park.
“Marina Bay Sands is one of the most recognized places in Singapore. It has been at the forefront of uniquely combining innovative architecture, luxury shopping and leisure, so I am very excited that now Manolo Blahnik will be part of this special concept,” said Kristina Blahnik, the label’s chief executive officer.
The space was created by the architect Nick Leith-Smith, a longtime collaborator of the brand, who approaches each retail project by melding Blahnik’s vision with elements of local architecture, materials and cultural context. The aim is to create unique retail spaces that tell the stories of their locales.
The Marina Bay Sands location, opening its doors to the public on May 16 and spanning 474 square feet, blends traditional and modernist influences to reflect the mix of architectural styles seen around Singapore. “The scale of surrounding architecture called for a space with a very distinctive presence. In part our inspiration stemmed from Pierre Chareau’s Maison de Verre with the space framed in cubist metal and glass geometries,” said Leith-Smith, referring to the Parisian landmark made of steel and glass. He also pointed to the use of bamboo and checkered floors to inspire a more natural feel and contrast the modernist glass elements.
The opening follows a series of activities to expand the brand’s presence in Asia. The British company has a partnership with the Bluebell Group aimed at “optimizing and restructuring” its distribution in the region. Previous retail developments included the opening of two new locations in Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Marina Bay Sands store will be the brand’s only standalone location in Singapore.
Blahnik is also set to open another space in Geneva this month, next to the cinema the designer used to frequent as a university student in the city. It is also moving to a bigger location in Selfridges and expanding its Burlington Arcade space.
“Our expansion is steady but organic, and we are very fortunate that we frequently encounter serendipitous moments which align seamlessly with the house’s values,” Kristina Blahnik told WWD earlier this year.
Meanwhile, the roving “Manolo Blahnik: The Art of Shoes” exhibition, which outstripped visitor expectations in Madrid, is moving to its last location at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto this May.