2012 has been a good year so far for Manolo Blahnik. Despite the initial disappointment this partnership with J. Crew would not go ahead, things got better as they quickly announced that the brand had secured another big stockist in London after bagging a succession in Harrods, but that's not all. Last week the designer was awarded an honorary degree by his local university, Bath Spa.
The appointment is part of the universities recognition of his indisputable contribution to design. 'At Bath Spa University we foster an ethos of creativity, culture and enterprise, and we want our students to become global citizens, ready to make a difference,' Bath Spa's Vice-Chancellor Professor Slade explained. 'There can be no better inspiration for them than these internationally respected figures, and I am delighted to welcome such worthy recipients to our fellowship of honorary graduates.'
Since Net-A-Porter launched The Outnet, it's now hard to imagine a time when it didn't exist. The days where your favourite brands were inaccessible if you didn't have deep pockets are long. This week new e-commerce website, Covetique, launched with exactly that in mind.
The premise of the site isn't new. Sellers are able to upload their pre-owned designer pieces online in an easy, hassle-free way. What is different about Covetique, though, is the extensive range of designers on offer. The site includes great clothes from brands like Burberry, Isabel Marant, Louis Vuitton and Alexander Wang and accessories from the likes of Manolo Blahnik and Christian Louboutin. Unlike similar sites, the prices are incredibly low with tops from Isabel Marant coming in at only £100 and Jimmy Choo sandals being sold for £130. To celebrate the launch, Covetique have also teamed up with a number of key industry figures to guest edit the site and showcase their favourite pieces and first up this month is Louise Roe.
We were all disappointed when Manolo Blahnik confirmed that his diffusion line with J. Crew would not go ahead but we need not worry because the brand is already onto the next thing. This morning it was confirmed that the brand has secured another big stockist in London in partnership with Kurt Geiger, who manage the footwear concessions for Liberty and Harrods.
After successfully opening a concession at Liberty's recently, the brand will also be available in Harrods come July in time for the Fall collection drop. The space will be in the Boudoir section on the first floor and according to Marigay McKee, Harrods' chief merchant, it will be a 'decadent shrine to feet.' 'I am very excited that my shoes will reach an even broader audience through Kurt Geiger in Liberty and Harrods,' the designer told Footwear News. 'The Liberty opening has been very successful, and with Harrods being a store full of incredible heritage, seeing my shoes there in the next couple of months will be a special moment.'
After all of the excitement about Manolo Blahnik collaborating with J. Crew, today the retailer confirmed that the partnership isn't going ahead. A rep from his company told Fashionista that the decision to end the project was 'due to wholesale production restraints on [Manolo Blahnik'] end.
As you'll remember, the partnership hasn't been without its ups and downs. At a book signing earlier on in the year the shoe designer reportedly said that he was unaware that he was designing a collection for them. That being said, since Jenna Lyons later confirmed that the collaboration would go ahead, today's news comes as a surprise.
'We were looking forward to the potential collaboration between our two brands, we both came to the conclusion that fall wasn’t the right time,' George Malkemus, president at Manolo Blahnik, said. 'We hope to do something together in the future.' Lyons and her team said the same thing in a statement: 'We have a mutual admiration for each other and while we couldn't do this for fall, we hope to collaborate in the future.'
At a recent shoe signing Manolo Blahnik spoke criticalyl of designer collaborations with the high street, so naturally the news about his collaboration with J. Crew came as a surprise to many. Interestingly, though, the news was a shock to him too.
"I was recently contacted by J.Crew to do something with them, so I sent them over 45 pairs of shoes, and they announced we were doing a collaboration. I had no idea about it!" While that may be true, it does make you question why he sent the shoes over if mass-market collaborations isn't something he would be happy about doing.
Franca Sozzani once said something about John Galliano that I thought was perfect. She said that ‘Dior’s solution and salvation would be to bring back that man,’–and I agree. Of course he would never do that after being so badly treated. What he said was horrific, but said under the influence of drugs and alcohol–that is no reason to destroy talent.
Technology has been terrible for traditional businesses. I want to go buy a book at the bookstore and see a movie at the movie house, not download them on the Internet. There is only one HMV music store left in London. This is one of my great sadnesses.
Since the release of 'The September Issue' we've all been spoilt for choice in the fashion documentary stakes. Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel and Fendi and Yves Saint Laurent are only a few names in the string of designers that have fronted their own one-off documentary and now Manolo Blahnik, Pierre Hardy and Christian Louboutin are getting in on the action.
All three shoe designers are set to appear in, 'God Save My Shoes', allowing viewers to access the life of these designers in their ateliers. Set to debut during Paris Fashion Week in October and on French TV, stars like Fergie, Kelly Rowland and Dita Von Teese are all set to make cameos on the show.
Last month it was revealed that Sophie Theallet and Giles Deacon would design a shoe collection for Nine West and last night saw Theallet unveil her collection - set to hit stores in May - to press in New York's meatpacking district.
The theme of the collection is 'Sophie From Paris Takes a Trip to NYC' and features heeled espadrils in different shades of pink stripes with bows which is exactly what "a French girl would wear on the Riviera with rolled up blue jeans and a little T-shirt," the designer explained.
Manolo Blahnik aims to take over the accessories industry. He's already one of the leading footwear designers and now he's venturing into jewelry. He has designed to team up with TOUS to create a jewelry range featuring his Mary Jane Campari shoe as a charm.
Talking about his decision to collaborate with the brand he explained: "I love TOUS because I feel we have many things in common. We are family-runned businesses, we share Spanish roots and we are both keen on surprising and innovating."
The price hasn't been revealed bu the collection will be available in TOUS stores and Manolo Blahnik boutiques from March.