Manolo Blahnik Takashimaya
Retail / Singapore / June 2018
Housed within a distinctive architectural landmark in the heart of Singapore’s Orchard Road, the Japan-owned department store Takashimaya has over 130 specialty stores spanning across six levels of shopping and dining. Signature flagship stores by top luxury labels sit alongside popular fashion brands, unique concepts stores and several new-to-market brands.
Occupying 42 sqm, Nick Leith-Smith’s design of this new Manolo Blahnik space is inspired by colonial architecture, which is found in abundance in Singapore’s central districts, where numerous buildings date back to the British colonial era, mostly built in European Neoclassical and Palladian styles.
The store blends marble floors with minimalistic white timber screens and rattan furniture. Materials like walnut wood, glass and white canvas are complemented by subtle yet eye-catching details in bronze. The fusion of colonial elegance with striking modernity reflects the traditional and modernist influences at play in Singapore, fundamentally celebrating its cultural and architectural duality where innovative modernity is beset by colonial heritage.
As with all his stores around the world, Nick Leith-Smith aims to fuse the vision of the Manolo Blahnik footwear brand with reference to the local cultural architectural setting, resulting in a highly original space that speaks of its locale.
In this case, the space looks to evoke a natural, serene, oceanic atmosphere, responding to the remarkable greenery of Singapore’s urban metropolis. The colour choices of turquoise, coral and white reflect the natural colours of Singapore and its ‘Garden City’. Home to approximately 300 parks and four nature reserves, Singapore aims to be the world’s greenest city. Nick Leith-Smith’s design for this new space brings a sense of this lush greenery into Manolo Blahnik’s retail offer.
Furniture in the space has been selected by Manolo Blahnik himself, and includes antique-style chairs inspired by designer Martin Eisler.