Manolo Blahnik is a Spanish women’s footwear designer known for his stiletto heels and embellishments. “Sex and the City” made Manolos a household name in the U.S.
Manolo designs can be simple elegance, but his imaginative embellishments place him in the context of La Movida Madrileña, the Spanish counterculture explosion in Madrid after the death of the dictator Franco in 1975. This connects Manolo with Spanish artists like filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar and fashion designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada whose bright palettes and wild imaginations are hallmarks of this period.
Manolo Blahnik Autumn/Winter 2016
One of Manolo’s recent collections was RihannaxManolo designed with pop star Riahanna.
About Manolo Blahnik
Manolo Blahnik was born in the Canary Islands in 1942. His father was Czech and his mother was Spanish.
Manolo’s mother loved fashion. When fashion was unavailable during World War II, she learned to make her own shoes. As a child Manolo liked to watch his mother make shoes. He copied her by making play shoes for his pets.
In 1971 Blahnik began designing shoes with the encouragement of Diana Vreeland, editor of American Vogue. His first collection, for British designer Ossie Clark, caught the attention of the fashion elite.
When Bianca Jagger made her famous entrance into Studio 54 riding on a white horse in 1977, she was wearing Manolos.
Manolo launched a collection for Bloomingdale’s in 1978 and the brand grew from there.
Placements in the British television show Absolutely Fabulous and the American Sex in the City helped make Manolo Blahnik a household name.
Visiting Manolo Blahnik
31 West 54th Street
New York, NY 10019
(between Sixth & Fifth Ave)