Manolo Blahnik put in an appearance at Liberty in London on Wednesday to mark the opening of a new space there dedicated to his shoes.
“Liberty is my favorite shop in the world, not only in London but in the world,” the designer enthused ahead of signing shoes for customers who had gathered at the store. Blahnik added that he was looking forward to the “exposure to young people” that the collaboration would offer.
In addition to shoes, the space on the store’s first floor also will carry tote bags, scarves, sketches and stationery adorned with Bahnik’s watercolor drawings. It marks the first time Blahnik has sold his collection outside his own shop in the U.K., on Chelsea’s Old Church Street. It’s the second time the designer has partnered with Liberty — in 2010, he opened a pop-up shop at the store for his footwear and accessories.
And Blahnik has stamped his identity on the new area in the store, where the shoes are displayed on surreal hand sculptures reaching out of the walls.
“It’s very Jean Cocteau,” mused Blahnik. The designer’s spring collection has a similarly artistic bent, taking inspiration from Henri Matisse. There are also whimsical designs, such as a bright-green shoe with leaf and acorn motifs at the ankle and a peep-toe sandal in floral-printed linen, while the designer also has created Olympic-inspired shoes to celebrate the coming London games. They include metallic sandals inspired by ancient Greek footwear.