If there’s one thing that upscale shoemaker Manolo Blahnik is famous for, it has to be killer heels. This is the purveyor of footwear that leaves women feeling empowered and men emasculated with dizzyingly high heels being de rigeur.
The idea of power is writ large in this 800 sq ft space within Brown Thomas’s flagship department store in Dublin, where adjustable metal straps descend from the ceiling, down the walls, with a single shoe at the end of each.
The device demands shoppers focus on each shoe, rather than looking at serried ranks of footwear, adding a degree of fetishism to the process that might seem appropriate in view of the nature of the merchandise.
The straps are also intended to act as a play on the dado rail found in Georgian interiors – a period that informs many of the choices that have been made for both wallpaper and furniture in this interior.
All in all, it is a subtle contemporary take on a traditional environment and one that leaves shoppers in no doubt about the privileged world the would-be Blahnik owner will be ushered into should a purchase be made.
There is an inherent confidence to this kind of display of the less-is-more school – carrying with it the implicit assumption that just by being in the store you are buying into the brand and all the associations that it carries.
As such, this is the polar opposite of the mass market and goes a long way towards defining what luxury is about.