A eco-friendly Manolo Blahnik shoe isn’t something we expected to see in our lifetime, but stranger things have happened. The luxury shoemaker, name-checked by Sarah Jessica Parker on Sex and the City, has teamed up with award-winning designer Marcia Patmos to create a collection of sandals for spring. Made from discarded tilapia skins, cork, and raffia, the two styles—a double-strap flat and a sophisticated open-toed pump—will be available in a combination of electric blue, black, ecru, and fluorescent yellow.
MANOLO BLAHNIK x M. PATMOS
While this is Blahnik’s first eco-friendly endeavor, Patmos isn’t a stranger to the sustainable side of fashion. As the founder of M. Patmos, she’s taken ethical knitwear to new heights, even garnering a Council of the Designers of America/Lexus Eco-Fashion Challenge award in September.
“I love bringing the idea of sustainability into the luxury market,” Patmos says. “It doesn’t have to be limited to T-shirts and grocery bags.”
“I am always researching sustainable materials and developments,” Patmos tells WWD. “I love the idea of tilapia skin because it is a byproduct of the food industry that would otherwise be discarded, but it’s actually a beautiful material perfect for small leather goods.”
Although tilapia hails from Africa, the fish is one of the world’s worst invasive species and the most popular farmed fish in the United States, which means that Patmos and Blahnik have plenty of material to work with.
And if the shoes look familiar, it’s because we’ve seen them before—on the feet of the models at M. Patmos’s Spring/Summer 2012 New York Fashion Week show, to be exact. “I love bringing the idea of sustainability into the luxury market,” Patmos says. “It doesn’t have to be limited to T-shirts and grocery bags.”
Consider “luxury” the operative word. Available in Manolo Blahnik stores in 2012, the shoes will retail at $895 a pair. But what do you expect from one of Carrie Bradshaw’s favorite designers?