Shoemaker extraordinaire Manolo Blahnik, described simply as the greatest shoe designer of all time by Vogue’s Anna Wintour, recently made a rare appearance at Neiman Marcus San Francisco. One of many local fans, Lillian Kwock—who stood near the front of the line at the department store's exclusive event—said, “I did a count last week. I have 39 pairs, not including these two that I just bought."
In town to promote his new book, Manolo’s New Shoes (released October 12), a follow-up to 2003's Manolo Blahnik Drawings, the famous designer chatted with journalists while the shoe salon buzzed with excitement and models floated around carrying platters adorned with snakeskin, pointed-toed kitten heels. In brief, here's what Mr. Blahnik had to say.
After more than 30 years in the biz, Manolo Blahnik has accumulated a pop culture status and fan base unmatched by most designers. His devoted clients have been rumored to go to extremes to pay homage to their Manolo collections—from designating entire rooms in their homes for Blahnik shoe storage to ordering his spendy heels by the dozens. So it was no surprise that the shoe guru’s recent visit to San Francisco attracted a swarm of Blahnik groupies for a mid-day appearance and signing of their coffee table tomes Blahnik by Boman [$55, Chronicle Books] at Neiman Marcus.