Mr. Blahnik Builds His New Dream Shop in New York


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.

Blahniks for him and her.Photo: Courtesy of Manolo Blahnik

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.”

A look back at Manolo Blahnik shoes photographed by Vogue in New York City.

Park Life: Jeremy Renner with Lara Stone, wearing Manolo Blahnik heels.Photographed by Steven Klein, Vogue, October 2010
Carey Mulligan gets a lift from her Manolo Blahnik slingbacks.Photographed by David Sims, Vogue, January 2010
Alek Wek, in SoHo, kicking up her Manolo Blahnik heels.Photographed by Arthur Elgort, Vogue, August 1997

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