Manolo Blahnik Turns His Archives into a Coloring Book

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From launching digital content series to guiding hands-on projects, many designers are encouraging their audiences to keep the creative juices flowing while spending time at home. Manolo Blahnik is doing so with the Smile Initiative, through which a collection of his sketches have been pared back to the outlines, so people may download them and color them in by hand. He hopes that the activity spreads a bit of joy and inspiration. Blahnik partnered with the Mental Health Foundation for the initiative, which has provided a number of resources for being mindful and managing mental wellness during this public health crisis.

The simple act of drawing is an integral step to the shoe designer’s process, but also one that can provide a relaxing activity in times of stress. “Creative freedom is a form of escapism, something we need now more than ever,” Blahnik said. “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 one another.”

Among the five archival styles available to color in are the Margolina slingbacks, a flowery pair of pointed-toe pumps; the Henley Oxford, a classic lace-up shoe with a zebra stripe spin; and the Tortura heels, a modern mule with coral accoutrements. Participants can use the hashtag #ManoloBlahnikSmiles to share their creations, possibly be featured on the brand’s social media channels, and view other people’s sketches.

Manolo Blahnik’s Smile Initiative is now available online.


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