Since the 1970s, this high-end luxury footwear brand has grown into one of the most recognised shoe brands in the world. Hailed, “The King of Shoes”, Manolo Blahnik needs no introduction for luxury lovers.
This autumn, Manolo Blahnik in Geneva welcomed me into their stunning store situated on 20 Rue de la Corraterie to discover the latest collections. Upon entering the store I was struck by the gorgeous scent of Diptyque’s Baies. Like an elegant introduction welcoming me into the luxury store.
Indeed, did you know that Manolo Blahnik actually lived and studied in Geneva? It was the first place he moved to after growing up in the Canary Islands. The location of the Geneva store was actually very strategically chosen as it holds fond memories of Manolo’s years walking to the Université de Genève. It is situated just across from the cinema (Ciné 17) he loved going to. Geneva is a cosmopolitan city that hold of quiet luxury. In the Spanish designer’s own words, “Geneva, such a charming city that is calm and beautiful. And the people! I was spellbound by them, they are intelligent and sophisticated with an incredible eye for detail and craftmanship.”
Now speaking of craftsmanship, let’s take a closer look at the latest collections…
The New Manolo Blahnik Collection
The Autumn / Winter 2020 footwear collection included a sumptuous array of ankle boots and pumps. In fact, this collection was designed during the lockdown earlier this year. Details of the collection pay hommage to designers Paul Poiret, Azzedine Alaïa and Eileen Gray. Inspired by a concoction of art, architecture, and landscapes. The collection plays with form, texture and pattern, featuring geometric patterns, embroidery and animal print details.
Signature styles from the luxury shoe designer include the Lurum mules. One of my favorite pairs was this beautiful burgundy satin one with Swarovski crystal embellishments. A timeless style which can be worn with a beautiful dress just as easily as it can rocked with a pair of jeans. With eye-catching details, they are true show stoppers.
The Nadira courts are another incredible pair of Manolo Blahnik’s iconic shoe designs. I was immediately mesmerized by the delicate curve of glittering crystals that tickled the sides of the satin pumps. What is more the embellishments act almost like straps when you wear the shoes. I loved how comfortable and easy they were to walk in. Indeed I was very pleasantly surprised by just how comfortable all the heels I tried on were!
Of course one cannot go to Manolo Blahnik and not try on a pair of Hangisi. They are one of the most well know of Manolo’s designs. Made famous by Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. Luxurious and regal, these shoes dress up any outfit. My favorite variant was the Hangisi denim and diamanté combination.
Indeed with a lengthy list of cult silhouettes, it’s not hard to see why Spanish shoe designer Manolo Blahnik is hailed as a living luxury icon. Indeed he has won many awards along his career including the most recent Luxury Legend Award which was given to Manolo Blahnik by UK’s leading luxury alliance, Walpole in 2018. In 2015, The Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion was bestowed to him by the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Art and the list goes on! Exemplifying timeless luxury and true creative flair.
The Manolo Blahnik Store in Geneva
The Geneva store was opened May 3rd 2020. The exposed walls are actually historic, dating over 100 years. The interior is a beautiful combination of classic and modern design. With mod art monochrome polka dots and stripes on the walls, big glass cabinets are filled candy colored collections of satin shoes and Manolo’s framed shoe design illustrations line the walls. Indeed these illustrations played a key part in inspiring my own creative journey. I discovered the illustration book before I went to art school and spent hours pouring over the creations. Loving how playful yet detailed each one was.
I was honored to have such a wonderful experience at Manolo Blahnik. It was a fantastic afternoon spent discussing the designs, the brand values and heritage as well as discovering new collection and playing Cinderella.
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