In 2021, some of the modes of living that were in place when the Spaniard first visited the city in 1974 have been revived, most prominently in regards to perception of gender fluidity. “I don’t have any kind of boundaries between women and men…because I grew up in the ’70s and, you know, everything was like, ‘Who cares?’ I mean, everybody was wearing whatever they wanted to wear.” In London Blahnik’s doing well with men’s styles featuring baroque embroideries, and is expecting they’ll have traction in New York with the emergence of what he calls “the peacock men” who want to be well attired. “They buy things like tunics again, I don’t believe it!” the designer exclaims.
What he does believe in, firmly, is the city. “New York has been so divine with me,” notes Blahnik, and the store is a way of showing support in return. He first became acquainted with the town in the heady 1970s, then he mingled with Perry Ellis and Diana Vreeland, as well as the Andy Warhol and Halston crowds. Blahnik saw the inside of Studio 54 more than once. “America—especially in New York—is a place of possibilities that you never expect to be able to create somewhere else,” the designer notes. “New York is a modern city, and it always will be.”