J. Crew's upcoming capsule collection with Manolo Blahnik is atypical of a mass retailer/designer collaboration for two reasons: 1) the shoes will go on sale at standard Manolo prices, ranging from $595-$645. 2) The designer not only had nothing to do with the diffusion line, he readily admits that he didn't really even know about it until J. Crew made the official announcement.
In a recent interview, Manolo explained how hands-off he's been:
"I have been approached so many times to do one, but I don't want to work for a big company where I'll have to have lots of meetings where I'm told what I can and can't do. My niece, Kristina, handles that sort of thing for me – it's just not for me. I was recently contacted by J. Crew to do something with them, so I sent them over 45 pairs of shoes, and they announced we were doing a collaboration. I had no idea about it!"