Well-known for his high-end women’s footwear, Manolo Blahnik has produced men’s shoes since the launch of his label, of the same name. As the demand grows in his shops for men’s footwear, the designer plans to launch over 35 styles of men’s shoes, which would total 1,900 variations, including leather loafers with safari prints and desert boots, allegedly produced by artisans in Morocco and finished in Italy.
As part of his strategy, Manolo will be opening his first men’s store in London, UK, at Burlington Arcade, where he opened a small women’s store in 2016, as well as a dedicated men’s Instagram account. The label is said to aim to increase the men’s footwear business by 20% but recognises it might take a few years to reach this objective. Men’s stores in Asia are also part of the business plan. “We’re not the kind of brand that has aggressive growth targets”, Blahnik told Business of Fashion. “We want it to grow organically. That’s the only way to grow it authentically over time.”
Reportedly, Blahnik’s business expansion includes the opening of three new factories in Italy; on the outskirts of Florence and Venice. The label’s sales increased almost +25% in 2015 to £11.7 million (US$15.3 million). Meanwhile, rival Aquazzura is also reported to have plans to launch a men’s footwear line before the end of 2018.