|Born||Manuel Blahnik Rodríguez
27 November 1942
Santa Cruz de La Palma, Spain
|Residence||Bath, United Kingdom|
Born to a Czech father and a Spanish mother and raised in the Canary Islands (Spain), Blahnik graduated from the University of Geneva in 1965 and studied art in Paris. He moved to London in 1968 to work at fashion boutique "Zapata" and wrote for Vogue Italia. After he showed his portfolio of fashions and set designs to Diana Vreeland, she told him that he should design only footwear. In 1972, Ossie Clark invited him to create shoes for his runway show. With a loan of £2,000, Blahnik bought Zapata from its owner and opened his own boutique.
In the 1970s, when chunky platform shoes and boots were the mainstream footwear styling of the day, Manolo Blahnik turned back his attention to the stiletto heel, which has remained the brand's mainstay to this day. Manolo Blahnik shoes have rapidly become a symbol of pure classical style for the 21st century.
Blahnik's boutiques are located in London, New York, Las Vegas, Dublin, Athens, Madrid, Istanbul, Dubai, Kuwait, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore and Stockholm. Bloomingdales (for which he created his first American collection), Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue carry his line in the United States and newly opened in Dubai Mall. The company has signed a long-term deal with the shoewear retailer Kurt Geiger to operate Manolo Blahnik boutiques.
Blahnik was elevated to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1987. In 2007 Blahnik was appointed as an honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order British Empire for his service to the British fashion industry.
Blahnik currently resides in Bath, United Kingdom and was awarded an honorary degree from Bath Spa University in July 2012.
- 1997: The Stiletto
- 1990: Accessory Designer of the Year
- 1987: Special Award
- 1999: Accessory Designer of the Year
- 1990: Accessory Designer of the Year
In popular culture
- In part one of the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn film, Bella Swan wears Manolo Blahnik shoes for her wedding.
- The staff of the TV show Angel asked Manolo Blahnik for permission to use their company name on screen. The company then provided footwear for the episode and insisted that characters wear the products even if the shoes were not shown on camera.
- In the popular long-running TV show Sex and the City Blahniks are a particular favorite of the character Carrie Bradshaw and as a result are mentioned frequently. A notable episode illustrating the brand's prestige is "What Goes Around Comes Around" from Season 3 in which Carrie is mugged. During her assault the assailant demands she surrender her shoes, demanding them by the brand's name.
- They are referenced multiple times in Duck Dodgers whenever any sort of footwear defect occurs, typically with the grumbled phrase "Cheap counterfeit Manolo Blahniks".
- At the end of the fourth verse of the RuPaul dance music song "Click Clack (Make Dat Money)", from his album Glamazon, the drag queen "Supermodel of the World" sings "My Manolo Blahniks gonna party tonight".
- During the description of the third girl in "Weird Al" Yankovic's original song "Close, But No Cigar" he references the brand by noting: "She wore a ribbon on her left Manolo".
- On September 28, 2013, Saturday Night Live Season 39, Episode 1, included a sketch  featuring Tina Fey that poked fun at the company.
- In the third part of the E. L. James trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey, a mirrored pair of Manolos are the accent to a clubbing night in Aspen, Colorado.
- Spanish pronunciation: [manˈwel maˈnolo roˈðɾiɣeð ˈβlanik], Czech: [ˈblaxniːk] or [ˈblaɦniːk]
- Manolo Blahnik Design Museum Retrieved 7 August 2008
- Ruth Faulkner (14 May 2012). "Kurt Geiger signs long-term deal with Manolo Blahnik". Drapers Online.
- Caroline Ferry (14 May 2012). "Manolo Blahnik Collaborates With Kurt Geiger!". Grazia Daily.
- CFDA Past Winners Past Winners Retrieved 31 January 2011
- Manolo Blahnik Biography Retrieved 31 January 2011