Manolo Blahnik’s first men’s shoe collection went on display Monday in Sir John Soane’s Museum in London. The designer chose to show his first presentation in the British museum among Grecian and Roman antiquities, citing that the institution’s pieces have been an inspiration to his collections over the years. The house, located in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, once belonged to Sir John Soane, a professor of architecture at the Royal Academy and a collector of ancient art, books, paintings and sculptures. In 1837, after his death, his home became a museum and still operates to this day as a space for students, history-buffs, and apparently, designers.
Between the pillars, hidden around ancient antiquities, sitting in front of dusty bookshelves and draped over bronze busts, the collection melds with its surroundings. Rich leathers, textured suede, and classic silhouettes are “a cross between what the bourgeoisie of Rome and a Centurion would wear.” It is a men’s collection heavily influenced by history, timeless in its structure, but still current and unexpected. The showcase was visited by historians, fashion industry insiders and personal friends of Blahnik, including Mary Beard, a Cambridge University classics professor who influenced the collection directly. “She has a wonderful Greek and Roman mind,” the designer told WWD.