Holt Renfrew, Manolo Blahnik Team Up

Luxury department store Holt Renfrew kicks off festivities for its new Manolo Blahnik shop-in-shop in Toronto on Thursday.

The space is the first of its kind for the brand in Canada, and thus has pride of place inside the renovated Yorkdale mall, a prestige shopping center.

Erin Cerrato, divisional VP of women’s footwear for the retailer, noted that consumer desire for Blahnik’s footwear is at an all-time high. “The response to the brand has been overwhelming, with year-over-year growth beyond our expectations,” she said, noting the classic BB pumps (offered in Holt Renfrew’s signature magenta), the exclusive Swarovski-crystal Pachacry heels and Hangisi bejeweled silk styles (aka Carrie Bradshaw’s wedding shoes) are leading the charge.

To celebrate the new space, which takes its elegant design cues from Blahnik’s freestanding shops, the brand’s U.S. president, George Malkemus, was scheduled to meet with label loyalists and offer an advance look at the spring ’14 collection.

“We also have an artist here who will create sketches for our customers of their gorgeous Manolo shoes,” said Cerrato.

“We were delighted when Holt Renfrew came to us with the idea of a Manolo Blahnik boutique at its Yorkdale store,” Malkemus said. “It’s the perfect partner and has been for a long time. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”

The opening is just one element of the luxury department store’s continued renovations, which have expanded the shoe floor to 10,000 square feet. Additional new in-store boutiques house Jimmy Choo, Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo. Next up is Christian Louboutin — a shop-in-shop modeled after the designer’s Parisian apartment is slated to open next week.

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