During quarantine, many people have become reacquainted with some of the simpler pleasures in life: puzzling, board games, and the like. Now Manolo and Kristina Blahnik are contributing the chicest coloring book imaginable into the mix as part of the company’s SMILE project, launched last year. “Smiling has many proven health benefits and we wanted to share some of what we have found is helping us,” writes Kristina from her dining room-turned–home office in Sussex.
This is not an all fun-and-games project, though. Like COVID-19, mental illness is an invisible affliction, and this effort is designed to support the valiant efforts of England’s Mental Health Foundation and, says Kristina, draw attention to the organization’s “specific guidance on how to deal the mental health impacts that the pandemic is having, from management tips to acts of kindness.”
This shoemaker extraordinaire patronized Chelsea’s art suppliers Green & Stone for the pads of paper, brushes, and Dr. Ph. Martin’s inks he draws with, but magic markers, crayons, chalk, pencils, work too. And it doesn’t matter if you keep within the lines or stray, either. It’s the act of coloring, the pleasure of doing something with your hands, the small break from work or the news that this activity can provide that is the point here. That, and not to lose hope.
On that topic Blahnik addresses you directly. “Dear Vogue readers, I hope you are all keeping safe in these uncertain times. We have to remain positive and take care of one another. We will get through this and we will come out of it more united and stronger than we have ever been before.”
We must remember that we will get through this—one step at a time.