Dec 6, 2019
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End of an era as Manolo Blahnik closes iconic NYC store

Dec 6, 2019

Luxury shoe brand Manolo Blahnik has permanently closed the store that supported the designer’s rise to fame in the 90s. The brand’s only free-standing boutique in the US, located on West 54th St., has shut its doors following an abrupt breakup with the brand’s US president in April.

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Fans of the British-based brand, which was catapulted into the collective consciousness through Sex and the City in the '90s, will continue to find its embellished shoes at high-end department stores including Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.

In a sign posted in the shop window, the brand announced the location was permanently closed. “Thanks so much for being such great customers for the past 38 years,” read the sign.

The small boutique became an essential part of the brand’s existence since Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker in the Sex and the City series, claimed to have had a “religious experience” at Manolo Blahnik.

The brand’s appearance on the show sparked a worldwide craze for its stilettos, known for its elegant forms and jewel-encrusted styles. The Midtown boutique became a regular fixture of Sex and the City bus tours.

It was unclear on Friday morning why Manolo Blahnik has decided to close the iconic store, however the move comes as the company prepares to end its long-standing partnership with George Malkemus, president of Manolo Blahnik USA, and partner Anthony Yurgaiti.

Malkemus announced in April he was not going to renew his licensing deal, and the business agreement is understood to be ending this month. He cited “unacceptable terms” offered by company CEO, Kristina Hulsebus.

But it seems this is not the end of Manolo Blahnik’s love affair with the US market. Speaking with the New York Post, CMO Carla Filmer said: “We are looking at new retail opportunities across North America and we look forward to announcing an exciting new standalone location soon.”

In its website, the brand said a new location is opening in New York in 2020.

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