With a career spanning 50 years, Spanish-born Manolo Blahnik is one of the world’s most influential footwear designers. “Shoes help transform a woman,” he says. The designer’s welcoming new New York City flagship that honors his creations and takes the brand forward. “New York has always evoked a great sense of excitement for me, a city of endless possibilities,” says Manolo Blahnik. “So, it is an honor for me to open on Madison Avenue, an exquisite location, which I remember fondly from our formative years.” This month, the brand debuts a zero-alcohol bar concept in the men’s wing of the flagship. The free-standing, fully functional bar sits in a library of fixtures in peacock-blue lacquer with a gleaming brass countertop and cherry-red velvet barstools. “We worked with award-winning interior designer and friend of the brand David Thomas, whom we had previously worked with for our Paris boutique,” says Kristina Blahnik, the founder’s niece and the company’s CEO. David has a fantastic understanding of Manolo’s vision and cultural collages as well as the house values. Our boutiques all have a one-of-a-kind aesthetic that reference the location and Manolo’s whimsical style. The New York boutique also takes on this approach and embodies Hollywood Regency, a theme that evokes grandeur and opulence but still has a sense of warmth and intimacy.”
The Blahnik Bar continues a tradition from Manolo Blahnik’s original Old Church Street shop in Chelsea, London, which became a showcase for the designer’s creativity and conviviality at the same time–a vibrant social salon for a variety of London socialites. Frequent visitors included David Bailey, Mick and Bianca Jagger, David Hockney, Princess Diana and Amanda Harlech. “My shops have always been social spaces,” says Manolo Blahnik. “Interesting and inspiring people coming together and enjoying one another’s company, I adore that! I’m thrilled that we can continue the Manolo Blahnik tradition of welcoming our wonderful friends to spend time with us and each other at the Blahnik Bar. Our shops are and always will be so much more than a place to buy shoes, it’s all about the people!” Blahnik’s sweet tooth inspired much of the menu at the New York City flagship bar including a Blahnik Bellini, Dapper Daiquiri and Seven One Seven Spritz. The designer’s very favorite drink, a saccharine chocolate and cherry black forest martini, will be on offer during special events.