Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale in West Hartford

Manolo Blahnik Shoes on DisplayDesigner Shoe Sale to Benefit UConn Scholarships

Back by popular demand, another sample sale of Manolo Blahnik shoes, from signature stilettos to fine leather boots, will be held Saturday, Nov. 14 at UConn’s West Hartford campus.

The high-end designer shoes, including many small and large sizes, will be sold for dramatically reduced prices from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on campus at 85 Lawler Road in the UConn School of Social Work to raise scholarship funds for UConn animal science students.

Manolo Blahnik shoes that normally retail for $400 to $2,500 will be sold for $150 to $450 at the sale. There will not just be runway-ready stilettos but a mix of sleek slides, slip-ons and boots as well as a range sizes from size 4.5 to 13. The sale follows a wildly successful sale in August in Bantam that attracted more than 1,000 shoppers.

The money raised will provide financial aid for UConn animal science students interested in dairy production or manufacturing. The fundraiser will help support the UConn Foundation’s ongoing Transform Lives initiative, which aims to double the amount of scholarship aid the foundation raises for UConn students.

George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis, both top executives at Manolo Blahnik, donated the shoes and established the scholarship to help promote agriculture and specifically the dairy industry in Connecticut.

The two businessmen have a passion not only for designer shoes, but for breeding high-end cattle. They bought Arethusa Farm in Litchfield 19 years ago when it went for sale across from their country home in Litchfield and turned it into an award-winning, cow-breeding operation. Four years ago, they launched a dairy and began to sell milk, cheese, yogurt, butter and ice cream.

“The gift from Anthony Yurgaitis and George Malkemus will endow the Arethusa Scholarship for Animal Science students interested in all aspects of dairying, including dairy cattle, milk production and dairy manufacturing, an area of interest in our department with limited scholarship funds,” said Steven Zinn, professor and head of UConn’s Department of Animal Science.

“The scholarship will open doors to a UConn education for the next generation of dairy producers in Connecticut, helping maintain this critical industry in the state,” Zinn said.

Their support comes at a time when the number of commercial dairy farms has steadily declined in Connecticut, from 6,233 in 1940 to 121 in 2014, according to the state Department of Agriculture.

“The number of students seeking a four-year degree in Animal Science with dairy interests has been growing rapidly and scholarship assistance of this type is essential to ensuring that students can afford to pursue their passion,” said Cameron Faustman, professor and associate dean of academic programs for animal science.