The luxury footwear and accessories label Manolo Blahnik is planning to commemorate the world of artistry and skilled craftsmanship by introducing a virtual room within its online archives.
Additionally, the brand plans to unveil an innovative multi-sensory experience at Xydrobe Mayfair later this month.
The online virtual experience titled ‘The Manolo Blahnik Archives: The Craft,’ available on the brand’s website, will highlight eight pivotal facets of the shoemaking process. It will provide insight into Blahnik’s creative journey, from initial sketches to the skilled craftsmanship that takes place in their Italian atelier.
“The development of this digital space has been a passion of mine for many years. To finally bring it to life in 2021 was a dream come true and now to be adding a further room this year, highlighting a key pillar of our business, is another milestone I’m incredibly proud of,” said Blahnik. “We hope to educate you on our wonderful and skilled craft of shoemaking and show you firsthand how our dedicated artisans bring Manolo’s iconic collections to life. Craftsmanship really is and always will be at the heart of everything we do.”
The virtual archives commence with ‘The Design’ section, offering enthusiasts the opportunity to trace the evolution of five shoes, each representing a decade from the footwear designer’s illustrious career. Subsequently, ‘Construction’ delves into the elements that constitute Blahnik’s iconic styles.
Another section is exclusively dedicated to ‘Techniques,’ providing an in-depth exploration of the functional and decorative elements incorporated into Blahnik’s designs. This section includes a detailed look at embroidery, beading, patchwork, buckles, and tassels. Another section focused on ‘Materials’ also sheds light on Blahnik’s use of satin, taffeta, and silk.
One of the standout features of the virtual experience is the behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the brand’s renowned ‘Hangisi’ shoe. Fans can step inside the Italian atelier to witness the meticulous crafting of this iconic style, involving over 60 intricate steps.
Furthermore, a dedicated section titled ‘Men’s’ showcases Blahnik’s beginnings in crafting men’s shoes for his closest friends and the subsequent relaunch of the brand’s men’s collection in 2018.
The virtual space’s design is the brainchild of Chief Executive Officer Kristina Blahnik. Its walls are adorned with the iconic polka-dot pattern typically associated with the brand. At the heart of the experience, a replica of the designer’s desk serves as a central focal point, guiding viewers to explore other rooms within the immersive world of Manolo Blahnik.
Photo credit: Manolo Blahnik