Forty four years after opening his first ever boutique on Old Church Street in Chelsea, Manolo Blahnik is set to open another free standing store in London in early 2016. In line with Manolo’s love for traditional England, the new shop will be located at the quintessentially British Burlington Arcade on Piccadilly. Known as the home to artisan shops selling, among others, hand-made jewellery, leather goods and cashmere, the Arcade is the perfect match for the brand.
Manolo’s love affair with England started at an early age with his father often immersed in books about Churchill and his mother reading Enid Blyton and Dickens at bedtime to him and his sister. He first came to London as a teenager and Burlington Arcade was one of the places he visited and fell in love with.
‘I have adored the Burlington Arcade from the very first visit. It has that intimate feeling and one always feels welcome, especially when the Beadles greet you at the entrance. It is an elegant place with history and tradition and the shops that occupy it share the same qualities as I find essential in beautiful hand made products. Honestly, I could not think of a better place to be’ says the designer.
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Built in the 19th century and recently restored under the leading British architect Jamie Fobert the arcade has been going through a revival with some of Manolo’s favourite names such as Penhaligon’s and N.Peal residing there for many years as well as new brands such as Chanel, Frederic Malle recently taking residence. In total, the building houses around 40 small shops, one of which will be Manolo’s new home. The 1,000 sq ft, double fronted unit will stock women’s and men’s shoes from the seasonal collection as well as classic pieces. The recently launched bags will also be sold.
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The interior of the intimate store will feature the same eclectic elements which have become the brand’s signature. Colourful silk lamps and Ottomans in unexpected colours sat among a neutral chic background will make for a peaceful, but fun shopping space. Manolo’s love of the classical period will be seen in the Corinthian columns supporting the walls throughout the space as well as oversized mirrors in which the customers can try the shoes on. There will also be a private room on the top floor for a quiet shopping experience and where special orders for customised items will be taken.
Manolo’s affinity for Piccadilly lies in the area having in its vicinity some of his favourite spots in London: the Albany residential complex which is home to many artists and eccentrics, Burlington Gardens, the Royal Academy, Fortnum and Mason, Turnbull and Asser shirt makers of Jermyn Street, Wilton’s Restaurant and Dr Harris & Co where the designer buys his grooming products.
Do not forget that Manolo Blahnik at Burlington Arcade opens in early February 2016! pay a visit to this design interesting spot!