WORDS BY NATALIE YIASSOUMI
Blahnik has launched ‘The Art of Colouring’ in aid of England’s Mental Health Foundation.
Everything starts with a sketch for Manolo Blahnik, who is a regular at art suppliers Green & Stone in London’s Chelsea, stocking up on pads, inks and brushes to draw his fantastical shoes.
Now, with the world at a standstill, Blahnik is encouraging everyone to get creative and get drawing, with ‘The Art of Colouring,’ a new virtual colouring book his eponymous shoe label has debuted.
“Creative freedom is a form of escapism, something we need now more than ever,” said the designer, who is now spending time at his house in Bath, outside London. “I have used my creativity not only to entertain my own imagination but also in hope that I bring happiness to others and make them smile. This time, I ask the world to do the same: Let us all spread joy, share creativity and inspire on another.”
As part of the initiative, sketches of some of the designer’s most famous shoe designs are now available to download from the brand’s website. They have been stripped back to the outlines and users are encouraged to reimagine them with new colours, patterns or textures as they fill them in by hand.
The ‘Manolo’ signature loafer, the ‘Margolina’ floral-appliquéd slingbacks, or the playful ‘Kilosamod’ pom pom mules, are just some of the styles you can discover and color in, on the website.
The brand will also be sharing a selection of their favourite sketches on Instagram, under the hashtag #ManoloBlahnikSmiles.
The project is also part of the ‘Smile Initiative,’ in support of England’s Mental Health Foundation and in line with the organisations guidance on how to deal with the mental impact of the pandemic.
Blahnik is not the only shoe designer to turn to the joy of sketching and creativity as a solace during this time. Last week, Jimmy Choo also launched a sketching competition, while Christian Louboutin has just debuted “The Atelier,” a humorous mini series on IGTV which showcases the shoe-making process from sketch to final product.
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