The long-standing creative partnership between Nick Leith-Smith Architects and Manolo Blahnik continues with the brand’s largest global outlet to date in one of the world’s most celebrated department stores, Harrods.
Designed by the architects in close collaboration with Manolo Blahnik himself, the new Manolo Blahnik London is located within the store’s fifth floor ‘Shoe Heaven,’ a 42,000 square foot salon dedicated to fine footwear.
The Manolo Blahnik unit occupies an exclusive space within the store’s west tower, set apart from the rest of the floor with its own dedicated staircase and entrance. The area has been designed to resemble the layout and atmosphere of a grand salon and evoke the interiors of a grand fin-de-siècle mansion.
As one enters the new salon, the European Art Nouveau inspiration is immediately apparent, thanks to the strong geometric forms used to transform the ceiling, furniture, timber screens and display areas into a precisely engineered composition of vertical lines and diagonal forms.
Shoes are presented on sliding library ladders that line the walls, while custom-built furniture is matched with vintage pieces.
The domestic qualities of the space are charged with refined geometry and bold use of colour and texture typical to Nick Leith-Smith Architecture + Design.
A seductive selection of Manolo Blahnik shoes fills the display shelves around the walls; these splashes of colour are echoed in the bold upholstery of the chairs and sofas.
The collection of pieces were originally sourced by Manolo Blahnik himself and have been restored and re-holstered in new colours and fabrics to match the space. These hues are also used in Blahnik’s own designs for silk lampshades and chandeliers, which along with the bespoke metalwork, were crafted specially for the project.
Nick Leith-Smith Architects and Manolo Blahnik have built an attracting realm that reflects the strong brand values and identity of this iconic shoe designer.