Manolo Blahnik Talks Platforms, Wild Fans, and His 40 Year Anniversary
There are shoes and then there are shoes. Manolo Blahnik’s fit comfortably into the latter camp (in a 2007 survey in Women’s Wear Daily 37 percent of respondents professed that they were willing to bungee-jump off the Golden Gate bridge for a lifetime supply).
Blahnik arrived in England via the Canary Islands and began designing shoes in the early 1970s, encouraged by Diana Vreeland. He hasn’t stopped racking up the accolades since, including being the first man to land the cover of British Vogue in 1974, as well as practically being a character on Sex and the City since his shoes were so integral to the show.
We caught up with Blahnik at Bergdorf Goodman, where he was signing shoes for fans and mingling with customers. Amidst over 50 variations of his famed BB (a simple pointy-toe stiletto), it is clear that Blahnik, and his ladylike shoes, are yet again riding high in fashion.
“I hate platforms,” Blahnik told us. “I never did like them. I had a fight yesterday on the plane with some lady with the most beautiful legs and then she had these huge things on her shoes and I told her, ‘What are you doing? This is awful.’ She goes, ‘I know, but you know they really help me be taller.’ She was quite a beautiful girl. Her legs were tiny. I told her, ‘No, no, no. Tiny girls should not wear heels like that.’”
It should come as no surprise that Blahnik has some seriously rabid fans. He shared, “I have so many, but I’ll tell you Southern people are great. I have this woman who comes every time to an opening and she has my name tattooed all over her body. And another one which wanted a tattoo on her leg and said ‘Can you write your name [on my leg so I can get it tattooed]?’ Not so crazy, tiny, and I did it.”
As for what has given Blahnik his longevity (2013 marks his 40th anniversary in the business), he shared: “Well, you know I have the same logic about shoes as I’ve always had, the same philosophy. I know what I like. Maybe I change a bit one season to the other, but I don’t really.”