Manolo Blahnik unveils interactive virtual museum to celebrate 50th anniversary
British luxury footwear brand Manolo Blahnik has today launched an interactive virtual exhibition showcasing its extensive history archives to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
The "Manolo Blahnik Archives: A New Way of Walking" features five immersive virtual rooms which celebrates past and present pivotal moments and explores different elements of the brand. The interactive exhibition also reveals for the first time the breadth of the luxury footwear label’s archives.
Each of the five rooms - Palette, The Seventies, Friendships, Gold and Family - highlights different significant moments of the brand, including the backstories of some of the most well-known designs and the women who have worn them.
"Exploring an extraordinary collection of original drawings, the experience unveils Blahnik’s unique artistic flair, the intricacy invested in each design, his humour, and the remarkable scope of his cultural references," the brand explained.
The virtual archives have been a long-term ambition of the company’s chief executive Kristina Blahnik and have been designed under her direction. Compiled by renowned industry expert, Judith Clark with Manolo Blahnik himself and the brand’s in-house archive team, the virtual world has been in the making for 18-months by Amsterdam-based digital design studio Rōnin.
Manolo Blahnik, Designer and founder of the eponymous brand said in a statement: “I want this to be a space where others can learn and feel inspired to create. It’s very important to me personally, that even those who can’t buy my shoes are able to feel a connection to Manolo Blahnik and who we are, 'A New Way of Walking’ offers that.
“This experience would not have been possible without Judith Clark who has expertly curated the content and my niece Kristina who had the vision bring this project to life so wonderfully. It has been such a joy to relive some of the magnificent moments in my career and uncover things I have not thought about or seen for years! Also, to celebrate the team behind Manolo Blahnik is very special to me, none of this would be possible without them.”
Kristina Blahnik, chief executive at Manolo Blahnik, added: “It’s a dream come true to open the first doors to our archive. As the legacy of Manolo Blahnik continues to evolve, the experience will continue to develop and tell its story.
“This is only the beginning of a very exciting journey and one we hope will be explored and enjoyed by our loyal followers for years to come.”
Manolo Blahnik opened its first boutique on Old Church Street, London in 1971, which remains the brand's flagship store today. Over the past five decades, it has expanded with 21 boutiques, including two recent openings in New York, a pop up in East Hampton and a flagship boutique in Manhattan on Madison Avenue.
The shoemaker operates its own global e-commerce platform and distributes in 303 doors globally with points of sale in 31 countries across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.