Project: Manolo Blahnik, Selfridges

Design: Nick Leith-Smith
Opening date: July 2016
Store size: 70 sq m

Spanish shoe designer Manolo Blahnik has opened a 70 sq m shoe salon in the Shoe Galleries at Selfridges. Designed in collaboration with London studio Nick Leith-Smith, the space references the work of Robert Adam, one of the 18th century's foremost neoclassical architects. Inspiration also stems from Blahnik's affinity with Bath where he resides in the UK, a city steeped in neoclassical and Georgian architecture.

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The shoe salon has a monochromatic look, with dark wood cabinetry and furniture contrasted with shades of palest honey-toned panelling and table tops, thoughtfully accented with brass detailing and splashes of colour.

Shoes are elevated on individual plinths and reverently displayed throughout the cabinets.

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The curved decorative motif of the wall paneling, formed by in-laying brass, was inspired by the sinuous cabinetry of Thomas Chippendale. His influence can also be seen in the furniture, tables and chairs, with contrast inlays and abstracted geometric forms.

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Medallion chairs are hand upholstered with horsehair in accents of exuberant colours, reflecting the shoe designs and Blahnik's personality.

As always, Blahnik's style, humour and playful irony subtly resonate to create a space to reflect, shop and appreciate the artistry of his shoes.

'We've looked forward to being in Selfridges for a long time,' says Blahnik. 'You feel the vibrancy and energy as soon as you step inside. It's great to be present in this historical building.'

To celebrate the new boutique, Blahnik has designed a limited edition shoe, which is available exclusively at Selfridges London. A black patent sandal with circular panels and white piping, each purchase of the shoe will receive a framed sketch of the style drawn and signed by the designer.

Photography: Mel Yates

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