The Boy Who Made Shoes For Lizards

In September, 2017, Manolo Blahnik: The Boy Who Made Shoes For Lizards was released in theaters across the globe. The documentary details the wonderful and whimsical life of world renowned fashion designer, Manolo Blahnik. Chronicling his childhood and his rise to fame, the documentary delves into the life he leads behind the scenes.

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Through the documentary, one is able to witness Blahnik's creative process come to life. The documentary examines the muse, the sketch, and the production behind every Manolo Blahnik shoe. Each shoe is carefully crafted and intricately designed with the modern woman in mind. Blahnik strives for timeless style and all around comfort, not an easy feat. The extensive process is preformed solely by Blahnik, himself. Blahnik hasn't staffed a creative design "team," but rather, prefers a solo approach to designing. Every creation is born from his wild imagination.

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Blahnik began designing shoes in 1970, and from there has become one of the greatest designers of the 20th century. On a stroke of luck, Blahnik had the privilege of meeting American Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland. Vreeland opened new doors to amateur Blahnik, advising him to pursue shoe design. This encounter was just the start of a hugely successful career in the fashion industry. Blahnik collaborated with young and influential designers of the time including Calvin Klein, John Galliano and Proenza Schouler, launching him into fashion fame. 

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His designs have been prominently featured in various issues of Vogue and the popular hit TV show, Sex and the City. Shoe lover and protagonist, Carrie Bradshaw, raves about the ridiculously extravagant kitten heels nearly every episode. Her undying love for Manolo Blahnik set the trend for Sex and the City fans everywhere, rocketing Blahnik to international notoriety. 

Please sir, you can take my Fendi baguette, you can take my ring and watch but you can’t take my Manolo Blahniks.
— Carrie Bradshaw
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Blahnik was born and raised in Santa Cruz De La Palma, Spain. Growing up, he was fascinated with the beauty of nature. Blahnik remains connected to his childhood, though many years later by incorporating his love for nature into his designs. Blahnik's collections are heavily influenced by his surroundings. The lush Spanish countryside or the vast African dessert act as Blahnik's inspiration. Each shoe tells a different tale.

In 2006, Blahnik designed the bold and beautiful shoes seen in the movie, Marie Antionette. Blahnik channeled the outrageous style of Marie Antionette; giving the misunderstood character a modern twist. Blahnik's designs had the power to transform Marie's narrative. I mean, who wouldn't die for a pair?

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Manolo Blahnik is simply put, a legend. His quick-witted and curious nature is enviable by all, and he has an uncanny ability to stay ahead of the ever-changing fashion industry. Blahnik's "tell it like it is" attitude has gotten him far in life, and I admire his everlasting fasination with shoes. 

Emma Mannal