MANOLO BLAHNIK Biography
Manolo Blahnik was born November 27, 1942 in Santa Cruz de La Palma in the Canary Islands, a Spanish mother and a Czech father. After studying languages and literature in Geneva, he moved to Paris in 1965 to pursue a degree in Fine Arts and the Ecole du Louvre. He then moved to London where he became a photographer for the Sunday Times.
During a visit to New York in 1970, Manolo Blahnik shows his photographs and sketches to Diana Vreeland, then editor of Vogue USA, who encouraged then to draw shoes. Back in London he draws his first models of shoes for Zapata Chelsea boutique. In 1971, Manolo Blahnik creates his first collection of shoes for the parade of his friend Ossie Clark..
Manolo Blahnik advocates a craftsmanship achievement through the opposite of mass production. Having a predilection for high heels decorated straps, feathers and rhinestones; the designer is constantly working, drawing sketches and conducting advertising campaigns. Inspiring his employees dedication and unfailing loyalty, Manolo Blahnik is rewarded, in 1990, 1999 and 2003 by the British Fashion Concil, while Spain decorates a Golden Thimble Award in 2001 and the king, Don Juan Carlos awarded him the Gold Medal of Merit.
While the Design Museum in London, installs, in 2003, a retrospective of the designer designs and collections, Sofia Coppola asked Blahnik to draw the shoes of her film “Marie Antoinette”. In 2009, “Thames & Hudson editions, Drawings” publish a tribute book with a preface signed Anna Wintour, and commented on by many celebrities, such as Palmoma Picasso, Bianca Jagger, Kate Moss and Sofia Coppola. In 2010, Manolo Blahnik collaborates with the store Liberty of London for a collection of exclusive accessories.