An Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahnik

The Wallace Collection

An exhibition with the Wallace Collection

Exhibition Design, Graphic Design, Selected

‘An Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahnik at the Wallace Collection’ has now opened in London, displaying the most famous shoes from the legendary footwear designer’s archive, set amongst the world-renowned paintings and objects of the collection’s 18th century rooms. Highlighting the common aesthetic territory between the collection’s baroque masterpieces and Blahnik’s own decadent craftsmanship, the exhibition aims to create a dialogue between art and craft.

An internationally outstanding collection of artistic excellence spanning over 800 years, the Wallace Collection has long been a source of creative inspiration to Manolo Blahnik, who has established himself as one of the world’s foremost shoe designers, thanks to his constant intellectual search for the new and the beautiful in art and life, literature and film, in the past and the present. With an artist’s eye for visual detail, Manolo Blahnik has drawn inspiration over many years from the Wallace Collection’s paintings, furniture, porcelain, sculpture and works of art.

Nissen Richards Studio was invited to work with the co-curators to place, contextualise and display over 120 of Manolo Blahnik’s shoe designs (some individual and some pairs) within ten first floor rooms of the two-storey collection. The commission also included the creation of graphic collateral, such as the brochure given to all visitors on arrival and the large-scale ground floor introductory panel, placed directly opposite a wall showing a dozen of Manolo Blahnik’s famously-accomplished and exuberant sketch designs.

WINNER – Gold Award
Pop-Ups, Display, Exhibition & Set Design category
London Design Awards 2019


The Wallace Collection, Manolo Blahnik


London, UK

photography: Gareth Gardner