His is a name synonymous with the very epitome of fashion. A legend among the world’s design talent and the ultimate Prince Charming to everyone’s favourite single girl, Carrie Bradshaw; Ladies and Gentleman, I give you, Manolo Blahnik CBE.
His designs have heralded Blahnik as one of the pioneers and leaders of the global fashion industry and next week the footwear designer will receive the ultimate honour of Outstanding Achievement in Fashion at the British Fashion Awards. The award, the most significant of the evening, conveys international recognition of one designer whose career has made an impact on the global fashion industry, and Blahnik who reached iconic status on the soles of Sarah Jessica Parker, is more than deserving of such an accolade.
Lighting up the world of footwear fashions for almost 40 years, Manolo Blahnik has been British Fashion Awards Accessory Designer of the Year three times in 1990, 1999 and 2003, and in 2007 was awarded the honorary title of Commander of the British Empire for his service to the British fashion industry. Graduating from the University of Geneva, Blahnik moved to Paris in 1965 and following an endorsement by Diana Vreeland made London his home and creative base in the early Seventies. In 1972 Ossie Clark used his collection in one of his shows and a year later Blahnik’s Chelsea flagship was established on Old Church Street.
With his signature luxury aesthetic immortalised on screen in Sex and the City, Blahnik’s shoes have become a symbol of 21st century fashion. The Design Museum curated a major exhibition of his work in 2003 and publishers Thames & Hudson produced ‘Drawings’, a collection of the designer’s best sketches used at the start of his design process, to coincide with the exhibition. Blahnik’s reach extends across the globe with boutiques in New York, Athens, Istanbul, Madrid, Dubai, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore and Stockholm.
February 2013 will see the designer collaborate with the British Fashion Council on a campaign for London Fashion Week AW13, using his world to create a backdrop of the prestigious style event at Somerset House in a bid to cement London’s reputation for innovation and originality among the world’s fashion capitals. Commenting ahead of the British Fashion Awards next week, Blahnik CBE said: “It is a great honour to be receiving this award from the British Fashion Council. To be recognised for doing something I love is really wonderful.”
Billed as the UK’s answer to the ‘Fashion Oscars’, the awards ceremony, which takes place on 27 November, celebrates the brightest and best talent within the British fashion industry, both new and seasoned. Former Bond girl and British actress Gemma Arterton will host this year’s event alongside presenter, Nick Grimshaw, at the prestigious Savoy Theatre on London’s The Strand. Awards for Designer Brand, Model, Red Carpet Designer and the esteemed Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator will also be presented.
Caroline Rush, chief executive of the BFC commented: “It is with great pleasure that we announce Manolo Blahnik as the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Achievement in Fashion award. Throughout his career he has contributed so much, not only to British fashion but also internationally, he has a worldwide cult following and this is true testament to his enduring talent and success. It is truly well deserved and it will be a great honour to work with him on next season’s London Fashion Week, we are extremely excited to see his designs on display at Somerset House.”
The British Fashion Awards is taking place on 27 November.