‘Art of Shoes’ exhibition bites into Manolo Blahnik’s 2017 profits

2017 was a year of celebration for Manolo Blahnik, with a travelling exhibition exploring the designer’s work and inspirations over his 45-year-long career, and an in-depth documentary giving fans an inside look into his creative process.


Bata Shoe Museum

But these marketing activities ended up taking a chunk out of the luxury shoe company’s profits, sending pre-tax profits down 28% to £8 million during the year, according to a Companies House filing.

‘The Art of Shoes’ exhibition showcased over 200 of the famous designer’s shoes and 80 original drawings and was held in Canada, Milan, St Petersburg, Prague, and Madrid throughout 2017.

Meanwhile, ‘The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards’ retrospective documentary was released in the UK and the US, and chronicles the designer’s milestones from his childhood in the Canary Islands to his work with A-list celebrities such as Rihanna and Naomi Campbell.

The luxury brand also blamed a slight increase in e-commerce commission due to higher online sales and higher staff costs for the profit fall.

However, turnover at the company grew by 2% in 2017 compared to the previous year, reaching £34.8 million. The footwear firm said there was growth across all sales channels, with a particularly strong performance from both retail and e-commerce. Three standalone stores opened in 2017.

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