Manolo Blahnik store by Nick Leith-Smith, Kuala Lumpur

December 3rd, 2016 by retail design blog


Architect Nick Leith-Smith is working with Manolo Blahnik on the design for his latest store opening and continued expansion with Bluebell Group into the Asian market. Adding to the already prestigious portfolio, is the opening of the first boutique in Malaysia. The store will occupy an exclusive 100 square metre space located on level 2 of the Pavilion Mall, situated in the vibrant Bukit Bintang district. Transforming a traditional material used in furniture making and artisan scaffolding, Leith-Smith uses a forest of bamboo as the central motif for the space. Elegantly positioned in parallel, conforming to the plant’s natural growing pattern, the shoes are arranged in flowing lines, almost floating, picked out on individual brass shelves which follow the dark stained bamboo structure snaking around the space in graceful curves.


Brass pendant feature lights are suspended from the high ceilings. The herringbone pattern marble floor is in-laid with brass detailing, drawing inspiration from palm leaves, and is mirrored in the brass canopy-like lighting above. Natural woven fabric in muted tropical colours is used for round ottomans and stools and accentuates contrasting metallic and stone finishes. The shoe collections are also displayed on circular stone topped brass tables. The architect has provided two private spaces for discreet selection featuring beautiful fabric lined walls.Elevating the ubiquitous bamboo, with artful and imaginative design, the clever use of natural geometry all add to the allure of Blahnik’s creations. As always, Blahnik’s style, humour and playfulness resonate to create a space which reflects the artistry of his shoes. Nick Leith-Smith Architecture + Design formerly Data Nature Associates, was founded in 2000.


The practice specialises in high quality, bespoke contemporary design. The studio has extensive experience in luxury retail design as well as high-end residential work, delivering detailed, highly crafted projects with strong elements personalisation and individual taste. Nick has strong connections to the fashion world, together with a thorough understanding of bespoke design, resulting in a playful yet distinguished approach that marries a sound understanding of historic and contemporary design with contemporary craft, materials and form.

Design: Nick Leith-Smith
Photography: Manolo Blahnik

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