Manolo Blahnik

The footwear king talks to Time Out


We’re curious – it seems your name has become bigger than you or your brand. How does it feel to be so iconic?
I don’t know. I’m not conscious about these things. I never understood fame. It’s one of those things that happens to you. I didn’t want it, I got it, it’s okay, but I don’t have a perception of it. In my time, beautiful actors who acted beautifully, they were celebrities. Now celebrities are anyone who shows up in a reality show and says two words or sings a song, or whatever, and suddenly, poof, they’re a celebrity.

So you don’t even recognise half the celebrities who are wearing your shoes?
It’s very abstract to me. I see it in songs, all those rappers, musicians. It’s very flattering, but that’s all. But if it makes people happy, I guess it’s the only thing I’ve done quite right: make people happy through these stupid shoes. At least I’m not famous for doing nasty things, or starting wars. Instead, I produce frivolous things.

I hear you’re tired of people asking you about Sex and the City [in which Manolo’s shoes have a starring role].

Oh no, no. I’ve been grateful to death. But I’ve been working since before Sex and the City existed. As I said before, I don’t comprehend all this hullabaloo and nonsense about fame. I just do my work and am happy that people like it.

What do you think of designers such as Jimmy Choo [who has just created a range for H&M] designing for the high street?
I don’t belong to these people. I never want to do high street. Well, I’d love to do my own high street: a range of beautifully made shoes distributed by me. But not for anybody who asks. You see, I cannot work very well with people, that’s the problem.

Those shoes on your feet are fabulous! Tell us about them.
These are matador pumps, but I forgot the socks! I came [to Dubai] yesterday and forgot all my underwear and all my socks (laughs). But I love these shoes. I always wear the same type of shoes, but in different colours. I like colours, even if I’m a ridiculous old man, I couldn’t care less. You just arrive at a certain age and you say, ‘who cares?’
Manolo Blahnik’s flagship store is open at The Dubai Mall (04 339 8122).

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