The new Manolo Blahnik store in Harrods was opened in 2012. One of the brand’s largest stores, the prestigious London location is marked by an expansive space influenced by theatre set design, evoking in particular the elegance and glamour of the 1920s and the work of the French designer Jean-Michel Frank.
Frank’s signature style was the combination of clean, classically inspired lines with rich materials and fine craftsmanship. The Harrods space draws particular inspiration from his furniture design, replicating the fluid, expressive lines of a 1920s palm frond console table, one of the designer’s signature pieces. The palm motif runs throughout the space along the cornice, as well as forming the support structures for a multi-level wall display at one end of the space. The frond was developed in collaboration with 3D Eye, a specialist manufacturer that transformed the initial sculpted clay maquette into a cast fibreglass structure that repeats throughout the display unit.
Traditional forms were also given a contemporary twist elsewhere in the space. The furniture includes several classic pieces of Danish mid-century design, all of which have been upholstered in bold new fabrics to match the multi-coloured silk curtain installation that invites customers into the space. The curtains are arranged as if frozen in mid-draw, with specially mounted display positions allowing for merchandise to be tantalisingly displayed at the edges.
The store is theatrical and bold, a stage set for consumption that accentuates the glamour and elegance of the product.