THE BRAND famously known for its shoemaking and more recently its women’s and men’s collections — Manolo Blahnik, is honouring artistry and artisans with their latest launch of a new space added to their digital archives.
The room titled The Craft will be accessible virtually at The Manolo Blahnik Archives which debuted back in 2021 in celebration of the label’s 50th anniversary. Alongside this, the brand used its digital platform to showcase its archives and dedication to innovation.
With a spotlight on the quality craftsmanship inherent to the brand, The Craft will delve into the brilliance behind their men’s and women’s collections. Inside the added room will be eight vignettes which will explore the process behind the art of shoemaking, taking its viewers through all its stages from designing to techniques to making.
Current CEO Kristina Blahnik who designed The Craft ensured the incorporation of the house’s signature polka dot design which was used as wallpaper decoration.
Situated at the centre of the virtual experience is a desk resembling that of Manolo’s which constitutes the gateway to the other accompanying rooms in The Manolo Blahnik Archives.
Within this virtual world, the audience can explore the anatomy of shoes as well as browse various pieces of content including exclusive behind-the-scenes from Manolo himself as he unveils the craft of shoe making.
“I am delighted to showcase the craft room in our virtual archives, a place to celebrate over 50 decades of my uncle’s illustrious career. 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. We hope to educate you on our wonderful and skilled craft of shoemaking and show you first-hand 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.” — Kristina Blahnik, CEO at Manolo Blahnik
The fundaments of shoemaking are broken down into eight steps — Construction, Typologies, Techniques, Accessories, Materials, The Making and Men’s — where each phase is explained in great detail from the importance of proportion to Manolo’s mastery in embellishment to the skilful artistry of his atelier.
In addition to the launch of the new room, the brand has also partnered up with xydrobe as they host a multisensory virtual and physical exhibition of The Craft. The experience will take place in London’s Mayfair at xydrobe itself, a luxurious VR destination.
One can expect an adventure exploring the unexplored world of Manolo Blahnik with the involvement of eye-level visuals, surround sound, scent and wind. As the viewer takes a seat at the designer’s desk they are able to immerse themselves through a series of gateways that take them on an adventure around Manolo Blahnik’s factory and the enthralling world of shoes.
The Manolo Blahnik Archives, The Craft will whisk you away into a world of creativity as it explores the ingenious mind of the designer and the integrity of his artisans. The experience educates on the artistry that is shoemaking and even more so, the artistry that is shoemaking at Manolo Blahnik.
by Nicole Pereira
The Craft will launch on the Manolo Blahnik website on the 3rd of October 2023 and The Craft by Manolo Blahnik experience opens at xydrobe Mayfair on the 21st of October, with tickets available for booking from the 3rd of October 2023.