Manolo Blahnik was born to a Czech father and Spanish mother in the Canary Islands then moved to the continent for his art studies in Geneva and Paris. He relocated to London in 1968 and worked for the fashion boutique Zapata while writing for Italian Vogue. When the legendary American fashion editor Diana Vreeland saw his portfolio she urged him to focus on his footwear designs. During the 1970’s the young designer worked at Browns in the shoe department before being asked to design Ossie Clark’s runway show shoes. Following this acclaim and a growing audience for his creations he took out a loan and opened his own boutique. Over the following decades he has continued to perfect his signature stiletto silhouette and remains one of the biggest names in shoe design today.
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