Obsessions that are not fleeting: The top five best Manolos


Manolo Blahnik, shoe designer sans pareil, officially unveiled his new book, Fleeting Gestures and Obsessions, to an adoring public at the store of publisher Rizzoli in Milan this week.

Over 500 pages, the book charts Blahnik’s 40-plus year career since US Vogue editor Diana Vreeland urged him to design shoes, having seen some of his sketches in 1971.


Brought up in the Canary Islands by his Spanish mother and Czech father, Blahnik (now a resident of Bath, England) went on to be one of the most celebrated footwear designers in the world.

He eschews trends (we shouldn’t love him, but we can’t help it) and when he hits upon a winner, it remains in his collections season upon season.

Herewith are some of his best and most enduring creations. There is nothing about these that is fleeting, despite the book’s title.

The Hangisi
Manolo Blahnik Hangisi Pump
Carrie Bradshaw married Mr Big in a pair of these in Sex & the City the movie; indeed the blue satin pumps with crystal pilgrim buckle, were central to the plotline. But then Carrie always loved her Manolos. See also…

The Campari or Mary Jane (or, if you prefer, the Urban Shoe Myth)
Manolo Blahnik Campari Pump
These appeared in Sex & the City (the TV show) when Carrie makes a somewhat wide-eyed trip to the Vogue fashion cupboard. In the real world (well, relatively speaking) Kate Moss loves these.

The BB
Manolo Blahnik BB pump
This deceptively simple pump looks fairly nondescript until you put it on, that is. It flatters the foot in a way that can only be described as genius. No wonder Victoria Beckham is often seen in them.

The Swan
Manolo Blahnik Swan Pump
Bella Swan (why of course) married Edward in pair of these in the Twilight Saga. They went on to be the wedding shoe of choice for well-heeled brides around the world. And also made regular red carpet outings, on Katy Perry among others.

The Chaos
Manolo Blahnik Chaos Sandal

This simple (we’re assuming the name is ironic) two-strap design has spawned endless copies and is a red-carpet staple. Carrie Bradshaw – yes her again – is famously mugged for a pair in a Sex & the City episode. The assailant demands them by brand name, so far reaching is Blahnik’s fame.

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