Honours for Manolo Blahnik.
His creations are worn by some of the world’s most celebrated fashionistas, and now shoe genius Manolo Blahnik is being recognised for all his contributions to the world of fashion and design.
Bath Spa University is presenting the Spanish-born designer, and resident, with an honorary degree on July 21. According to the Telegraph, Blahnik is pleased with this accolade because Bath has been his home since 1983. “It is a great honour for me to be associated with such a wonderful institution which is Bath Spa University. I really adore Bath and everything that is there.”
The university’s vice-chancellor, Professor Slade, will do the honours. “At Bath Spa’s University we foster an ethos of creativity, culture and enterprise, and we want our students to become global citizens, ready to make a difference. There can be no better inspiration for them than these internationally respected figures, and I a delighted to welcome such worthy recipients to our fellowship of honorary graduates,” notes the vice-chancellor.
Blahnik, who’ll be turning 70 in November, has been designing gorgeous shoes, with a feminine touch, since the early 70s, at a time when heavy platform rocked the fashion scene. Almost four decades later, the Manolo Blahnik label remains coveted and timeless.
Former American Vogue editor Diana Vreeland convinced a young Blahnik to look at footwear design with an out-of-the-box appeal. By 1973, Blahnik set up his very own boutique, with style maven Bianca Jagger as a client. Since then, Blahnik has gone on to design some of the most exquisite and sexy stilettos loved and worn by Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Moss, Jennifer Aniston and Amanda Seyfried (to name but a few). But it was the fashion-laden television series, Sex and the City that helped make Manolo Blahnik a household name. Writer Carrie Bradshaw (played by Parker) showcased her passion for his stilettos, and often the label was considered a main character.
Blahnik fell in love with well-designed shoes thanks to his mom who was an avid collector of bespoke heels.
But the man with an insatiable appetite for sexy and elaborate heels is far from focused on trends. Blahnik’s heel styles are consistent and don’t shift as often as other brands do. “My shoes don’t change drastically from season to season. I think it’s awfully rude to ask someone to pay a lot of money for a pair of shoes, and then have them be ‘out’ the next season,” he tells Hello magazine.
With a focus on growth and accessibility, earlier this year Blahnik teamed up with high street chain Kurt Geiger to bring his heels to a broader UK market. In the USA, Manolo Blahnik footwear is sold in high-end department stores Neiman Marcus, Barneys and Saks Fifth Avenue.