Nick Leith-Smith A+D's latest London collaboration with Manolo Blahnik is located in the iconic Selfridges, Oxford Street, London. The project part of a portfolio of work that spans a 15-year working relationship between Nick Leith-Smith and Manolo Blahnik - a partnership responsible for over 60 stores globally.
A prime position within the Shoe Galleries, occupying 52 square metres. The space displays a minimum of 120 shoes and 20 bags. Geometry was the conceptual starting point for this shop with a simple square forming the central design motif, down to every last detail. From the square proportioned room, 8 meters by 8 meters, the ‘square’ pull-down shelves, the ‘square’ framed furniture, the ‘square’ inlaid carpet and finally the cuboid opal glass light box. This fun conceptual design adds humour and wit, synonymous with Manolo’s shoes, through 8 different colour linings to the shelves when they are opened.
The shelves can be open and shut, allowing an interactive display and the sculptural shoes to be curated against a complementary colour backdrop. The Manolo Blahnik boutique has been reimagined as a living room taking inspiration from the original minimalist Jean-Michelle Frank known for his pure forms and exquisite materials. The colour play continues with the juxtaposition on the salon floor with 6 fun colour-block arm chairs and sofas. The customer journey has been engineered in the circulation. Shoppers are guided around the colourful and playful panelled perimeter before being welcomed to try on shoes in the inner sanctum sitting room area.
A collection of luxurious materials, such as birds eye maple veneer, honed travertine, linen, bronze, leather and opal glass share a common colour palette to enhance this sense of unity and offset the colourful interior accents and highly coveted shoes.