Follow Vogue Arabia

Manolo Blahnik Celebrates 50 Years in Fashion with an All-Gold Collection



If any shoe designer has a Midas touch, it’s Manolo Blahnik. Since he started out in 1971, he’s set a gold standard—and he’s now marking his 50-year career with a golden collection that riffs on his classic silhouettes, from boots with tiers of fringe to feathered metallic mules, pumps of handwoven macramé, and four pairs with bells on (inspired by a bracelet Blahnik’s mother wore, with four bells representing the members of their family). We asked a few of his friends about the power of Manolos—and Manolo.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Manolo Blahnik (@manoloblahnik)

Anjelica Huston, Actor

I was in the South of France in 1974 doing pictures for British Vogue when Manolo and I met for the first time. I remember him telling me that one of his favorite scenes in the movies involved Marilyn Monroe in my dad’s [John Huston’s] movie The Misfits—he said it was because Marilyn wears these white high heels. I liked him instantly.

Grace Wales Bonner, Creative Director, Wales Bonner

I once wore a pair of his emerald slippers at a dinner, and as I was leaving, the poet Ben Okri stopped me and proclaimed, “I call these the shoes of life.

Isaac Mizrahi, Designer

I met Manolo in Perry Ellis’s design studio in 1979 or 1980, but my favorite memory was a dozen years later, when he and my mother observed a fitting I did with Shalom Harlow. My mom and Manolo had already bonded over Xavier Cugat and Norman Norell, but something about Shalom resembling Ava Gardner was utterly thrilling to them—a lot of screaming ensued.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Manolo Blahnik (@manoloblahnik)

Victoria Beckham, Designer

I have always loved a BB pump—one of my funniest Manolo memories is wearing a pair whilst driving the Spice Bus at full speed as we filmed Spice World.

Amanda Harlech, Creative Consultant and Writer

In 1979 I had just discovered Grace Coddington’s work in Vogue. Later, I wanted to be Talisa Soto in a red Fiorucci boiler suit and my red Manolos. It was like jumping off a cliff into an adventure—there was no turning back.

Kate Moss, Model

I still wear my Manolos from the ’90s—my favorites are a gold scalloped peep-toe. They’re the perfect heel to go from day to night.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Manolo Blahnik (@manoloblahnik)

Naomi Campbell, Model and Activist

He reminds me of a marquis—I’m sure he’s royalty somewhere and he doesn’t know it. He’s just so precise in all that he executes.

Sandra Bernhard, Actor

He’s one of these bigger-than-life characters that you can’t believe exists in today’s world, but he evolved as an artist in a more elegant time, when people paid attention to the details. I think that’s why he’s continued to attract people: There’s a magnetism to that kind of beauty. You want to be around it; you want to possess it.

Visit the virtual reality installation Manolo Blahnik: A New Way of Walking to learn more about the storied shoemaker.

Originally published on

View All
Vogue Collection