I’ve been a little obsessed lately over reading interviews with Manolo Blahnik. He’s really such a cool guy and I love that he lives in Bath, which is one of the most charming places ever and one of my top geographical candidates if I could choose anywhere in the world to whittle away an afternoon.
I bought my first pair of Manolo Blahniks in 2006, but for all the wrong reasons. I wanted a pair of Manolos because I saw them on Sex and the City, and they were associated with an exciting lifestyle. I chose the pair that I thought would be the most classic – the Carolyn model for those of you who are familiar – and not the one that I loved the most. I bought black because it was the most practical over other colors I loved, and worst of all I ended up with the wrong size because I let the salesperson convince me that the last size in stock fit me, even though it didn’t. I ended up barely wearing the pair and eventually giving them to a friend.
In the years since that first pair, I’ve come to realize that sort of purchasing mentality is actually very anti-Manolo – who as you will read below, stands for the fashion that is beautiful, that suits the individual, that is never trendy or too nouveau, and that has longevity. He gives a very charming interview too, with plenty of zingers. Here are some of my favorite quotes below, as well as their source interviews – I hope you enjoy as much as I did!
“Ooh, no. I can’t change too many hundreds. I would feel too guilty. The other day I saw in a magazine that they’d put the wrong price on my shoes. It was unmentionable. I was mortified. No, since the crash, I make less complicated shoes — not so many jewels and embroidery. But really, women still need beauty, don’t they? You hardly have couture now, so shoes are what women do instead. Maybe that’s why they buy so many, because compared with a £20,000 dress, they’re not so bad.”
“I don’t like large companies, where they have these endless meetings to do one little detail. I can’t deal with these things; I’m too old for it now. We’re a family-owned company—my sister, my niece, a few people more. I design all the shoes myself, and I wouldn’t have it otherwise. I don’t want to be influenced.”