Here's a Visual History of Manolo Blahnik Shoes—You're Welcome

Like Madonna and Kylie, revered shoe designer Manolo Blahnik enjoys single-name status—a sign that you’ve clearly cemented your place in the world. To say that you’re wearing—or have invested in—a pair of Manolos needs no further explanation. And on the day that a film biopic, Manolo: the Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards, is released into cinemas, we thought it ideal to take a stiletto-clad trip down memory lane.

While the Canary Islands’ most fashionable export may have Sex and the City to thank for catapulting it into the household-name league, Blahnik had amassed legions of loyal fans long before the show’s stylist, Patricia Field, decreed that Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw would be a character obsessed with his elegant, ladylike pumps.

The late Diana, Princess of Wales, was a regular at his Chelsea boutique, while Dame Anna Wintour has been wearing almost nothing but Manolo sandals since the mid-1990s. For Kate Moss, there was no one else but Manolo to bring her dream wedding shoes to life.

Blogger Peony Lim is the latest style star to wear Manolo Blahnik's Hangisi heels on their wedding day.

Blahnik, who founded his business in London over 40 years ago, has never waivered from his signature style of dainty footwear. While others pursued platforms and trainers, Blahnik stayed true to his trademark of spindly heels, deep satin colourways and intricate embellishment. If all of this sounds like they might make for the most uncomfortable of shoes, that is not the case: Mr. Blahnik hates nothing more than seeing a woman who cannot walk in her shoes.

Discover Manolo Blahnik’s celebrity devotees in the images below, and scroll down to shop some of his most iconic styles.

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Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

Ever wondered where Anna Wintour gets her shoes from? A loyal sort, she’s commissioned the exact same pair of flesh-coloured slingbacks from Manolo since 1994. Well, not the same pair—she gets new deliveries of the kitten-heel sandals every season, which vary only so slightly in terms of colour and strap width.

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Rex Features

The late Diana, Princess of Wales, was said to have owned over 50 pairs of Manolos. On the night that Prince Charles admitted to his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles on national television in 1994, Diana assembled what was to become one of her most iconic outfits. As she arrived at the Serpentine Party in Hyde Park, she rocked a daring off-the-shoulder dress by Christina Stambolian and some very slinky Manolo heels.

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Rex Features

Blahnik’s biggest fictional fan is undoubtedly Carrie Bradshaw, whose obsession was brilliantly captured by Sarah Jessica Parker in hit TV series Sex and the City. Bradshaw’s character was thought to have spent—sorry, invested—in the region of $40,000 in her shoe fetish and was proposed to by Mr. Big with not a ring but a pair of the designer’s cobalt-blue satin Hangisi courts.

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Rex Features

For her 2002 music video for “All I Have,” there was only one pair of boots that songstress Jennifer Lopez wanted to brave the Manhattan snow in, and they were Manolo Blahniks.

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Rex Features

The designer himself is partial to a little fancy footwork himself, as evidenced by the fuchsia suede loafers he wore to a book signing in 2010.

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Rex Features

In 2011, to go with her Galliano gown, Kate Moss tied the knot to Jamie Hince in an equally dreamy pair of bespoke Manolo Blahnik sandals. But getting them just right was a story in itself, as they had to be made five times to meet the super’s demands. “The shoes arrived the day before, and there were too many jewels on the heel because of the long train. So we had women working up until midnight to change it,” said an eager-to-please Blahnik.

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Rex Features

In 2012, when Victoria Beckham debuted shoes as part of her eponymous collection, they were the product of a partnership with Manolo Blahnik. VB could arguably have picked any shoe designer to team up with, but she chose a man whose shoes she’d been stepping out for a long, long time to take the leap.

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OliviaPalermo.com

In 2014, Blahnik superfan Olivia Palermo wed her longtime love in a pair of deep-blue Manolo Blahnik Hangisi satin pumps—the same pair Carrie was proposed to in SATC.

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Rex Features

In 2016, superstar and style-setter Rihanna collaborated with Blahnik for a very special capsule collection like no other. The pièce de résistance from their creative union? The denim belted chap boots with rhinestone embellishment, which retailed for a cool £2950. Of course, the singer wore them around NYC.

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@RihannaDaily

Naturally, Riri was an early adopter of the Vetements + Manolo Blahnik boots that were debuted in the former’s A/S 17 show. Made from smooth satin, each comes lined in soft leather and commands a price tag of over £3000.

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