MORE MANOLOS: Manolo Blahnik is increasing its presence in Selfridges with the opening of a dedicated boutique in the London department store’s shoe galleries.
The space, which spans 560 square feet, plays on Blahnik’s flair for bright colors with modernist furniture in pops of purple, yellow or turquoise, with shelving on the walls in the same shades.
“We developed a concept of crafted minimalism inspired by Manolo Blahnik’s love of the French designer Jean-Michel Frank,” said architect Nick Leith-Smith, a longtime collaborator of Blahnik’s, who has been working on creating bespoke designs for each of the brand’s retail openings. “Our intention was to deliberately pare back the design to focus on simple forms and exquisite materials. We wanted the space to evoke that of a serene and contemplative living-room space.”
Blahnik added that he wanted to evoke the same atmosphere as that of Frank’s living room. “I saw it as a young man, and decided it was one of the most beautiful rooms I had ever seen. I still do,” said the designer.
The boutique will stock the brand’s classic styles.
The brand has been increasing its retail footprint significantly in the last few years, with recent openings in Geneva, Singapore and Paris, as well as a dedicated men’s space in London.
Earlier this week, the company also split from longtime U.S. licensee George Malkemus, president of Manolo Blahnik USA, and Anthony Yurgaitis, vice president of the company. It is now preparing to take control of its North American business after 37 years and make “significant strategic investments.”