fashion designer (1942)
Manuel "Manolo" Blahnik Rodríguez was born in Santa Cruz de la Palma in the Canary Islands (Spain) in 1942, to a Spanish mother and Czech father. He is a famous fashion designer famous for creating women's shoes.
Manolo Blahnik grew up in the lush setting of a banana plantation owned by his mother's family. Remember to have early fixation with your feet, especially those of the lizards that have invaded the gardens of your home. In a solitaire game, Manolo would have molded the aluminum wrappers of his chocolate candies into shoes for unsuspecting reptiles. Many years later, at the end of a conversation with Diana Vreeland he would have thought of dedicating himself again to the creation of shoes.
His name has become synonymous with women's luxury shoes, yet Manolo Blahnik is a shoe designer by accident. He was studying art and scenography in Paris when, in 1969, his dear friend Paloma Picasso introduced him to the then director of the Met Costume Institute, Diana Vreeland.
After seeing Manolo's sketches for "A Midsummer Night's Dream", Vreeland concentrated on Hippolyta's high-heeled sandal decorated with ivy and cherries and said: "Young man, stick to the ends and make your shoes ! "
Manolo studied informally, visiting the best Italian shoe factories and talking with the artisans about their art.
Established in London in 1969, just a year later, he opened his first boutique on Old Church Street, in Chelsea. In 1971 he developed his inaugural shoe for a fashion show by the most important British designer of the time, Ossie Clark.
The magnetic personality of Manolo Blahnik has created an atmosphere of beauty and charm for clients and friends such as Bianca Jagger, Rupert Everett, David Hockney and Anna Wintour.
Manolo has always been sophisticated, with a personal style belonging to another era, or perhaps existing outside of time. He designed elegant stilettos and convinced his female clients to adopt his most refined sense of femininity.