He went back to London and learnt his craft by visiting shoe factories and studying every stage of the footwear alchemy. It's a fact that he's still very much hands-on and makes shoes himself! Within just a year Blahnik was already making the delicate, resolutely feminine and disarmingly beautiful shoes he has become famous for. In 1968 he opened his first boutique in London's Chelsea. It attracted fans as Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall and Marie Helvin. In 1974 Blahnik was the first man ever featured on the cover of the British Vogue. About this time he started collaborating with young designers and Calvin Klein, John Galliano and Proenza Schouler have all hadtheir footwear created by him. Now this is a coming-up story!
Manolo Blahnik won countless awards, including an Honorary Doctorate from the RCA in 2001 and the first ever Silver Slipper Award given to a shoe designer in 1999. To add to his celebrity design status, London's Design Museum staged the first Blahnik retrospective in 2003.
You all know what Blahnik's signature designs are! They are high, sexy and always elegant! Simply irresistible! The designer himself says that he has so many favorite pieces but he particularly adores the beaded up the leg sandals he did for John Galliano for his Dior Couture "Masai Warrior" collection, and his own futuristic collection from 1986. The devoted designer says that his work is one of the most satisfying parts of his life, it is his passion and all passions can have their difficulties, but he's still driven to continue. When designing Manolo Blahnik is inspired by the changes from day to day. It even surprises himself... movies, books, painting, architecture, landscapes and certain women he sometimes sees in the streets. No wander that his philosophy is hard work!
The most important lesson mister Blahnik has ever learnt is that whatever you do you should always do your best! And he definitely does!
"Beauty is captured in fleeting moments and reflected in one's eyes." ~ Manolo Blahnik