Manolo Blahnik opened the doors to his second London boutique in Mayfair’s Burlington Arcade at 51 Piccadilly.
Unwilling to settle for a more commercial location like Bond street, Blahnik was willing to wait until he secured the right spot, that is linked to history and tradition. “It took 28 years to find the right location,” said the footwear designer. It’s been 44 years since the opening of his first, and until now only, London store – on Chelsea’s Old Church Street – and the wait for the right place makes up the lion’s share of the reason behind the half-century delay.
“The history of this place, can you imagine? Cavendish House, which is the Royal Academy now is right next door, so we are happy as hell,” said the designer. “All my books and fantasies have always been centered around the area and the Burlington arcade; women stepping out to quickly look at the Burlington arcade or going to see their boyfriends at the Albany, having tea at Fortnum and Mason’s and going to Hatchers to get books.”
The Manolo Blahnik boutique in London features three floors of retail space reaching over 1,000 square-feet – and is decorated with antique-inspired detailing melded with splashes of Blahnik’s signature brights. Inspired by the columns in Mr. Blahnik’s Georgian-style house in Bath, the store’s decor is simple, allowing the color of the shoes to take precedence.
“It’s all about color, fun and smiles. That’s what the merchandising was about. We wanted the main collection to stand out, but most importantly we wanted to create an environment where the men’s and women’s collections met,” said Kristina Blahnik, niece of the designer and CEO of the company.