You can take my Fendi baguette, you can take my ring and my watch, but don’t take my Manolo Blahniks.”
This phrase pronounced by Carrie Bradshaw, the shoe-loving main character of Sex And The City, when she found herself face-to-face with a mugger, has become world-known and illustrates the common love to Manolo Blahnik shoes.
No wonder we all love them so much. They are perfect – perfect-looking and perfect to wear, feminine and comfortable.
These shoes are popular with celebrities, fashion icons and ordinary women as well.
The story of Manolo Blahnik began in Santa Cruz in the Canary Islands. The family lived far from civilization but often travelled to Paris and Madrid, where his parents ordered clothes from his mother’s favorite couturiers, like Cristobál Balenciaga, and his father’s tailor.
His mother liked to improvise and once she persuaded the local Canary Islands cobbler to teach her how to make Catalan espadrilles (that were in fashion at that time) from ribbons and laces. Manolo was small but loved watching her making them.
I’m sure I acquired my interest in shoes genetically or at least through my fingers, when I was allowed to touch them as they were made,” he said later.
Manolo’s mother used to subscribe to fashion magazines, such as US Vogue, Glamour and Silhuetos, which would dock at the Canary Islands months after their original publication. So, Manolo was more or less aware of what was trendy at the continent.
He’s never had any formal training in shoe-making. As he said to his friend Michael Roberts he didn’t need it, because he has got “the best taste in the world.”
His professional career as a shoe-maker began in 1970 when Zapanta store offered him a job. He had to move to London but he wasn’t afraid of changes. His first collection was created for Ossie Clark, one of the most famous fashion houses in Britain and soon he opened his own shoe shop in the heart of London.
His first collection was a great success and inspired by that Manolo Blanhik kept on creating his fantastic shoes. Since that time he has collaborated with plenty of famous designers and fashion houses, such as Perry Ellis, Calvin Klein, Jean Muir, Zandra Rhodes, Yves St. Laurent, Christian Dior, Rifat Ozbek and many others.
However, perfection by Manolo Blahnik costs lots of money and ordinary women can hardly afford them. But on the other hand perfection is priceless!
That’s the reason why many celebs just don’t think about the price.
Manolo Blahnik is one of those few designers whose name has become synonymous with their product.
“Manolo” is used to describe very expensive, very beautiful shoes: even by the millions of people who have never actually seen a pair of Manolo Blahniks and could not even dream of spending several hundred dollars to buy them.
Blahnik is solely responsible for the design and prototype of every shoe that bears his name. He prefers to work alone with no apprentices or assistants sketching his shoes, chiseling the wooden lasts on which they are molded and creating the heels.
Besides, he personally supervises their production and even works on the illustrations for his advertising campaigns.
I have the advantage of study,” he says. “I’ve been studying the art of the shoe… for over twenty years. I know every process. I know how to cut and cut away here (the side of the shoe) and still make it so that it stays on the foot. And the secret of toe cleavage, a very important part of the sexuality of the shoe. You must only show the first two cracks. And the heel. Even if it’s twelve centimeters high it still has to feel secure – and that’s a question of balance. That’s why I carve each heel personally myself – on the machine and then by hand with a chisel and file, until it’s exactly right.”
It is hard work but it is highly appreciated by the lovers. It’s not a secret that shoes by the “king of stilettos” are exceptionally feminine and those ladies who had a chance to put on Manolo Blahniks even once don’t want to wear any other shoes since that.
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