SOUL TO SOLE A revealing documentary recounts the extraordinary life of the master shoemaker Manolo Blahnik
Manolo Blahnik’s astonishing journey to fame is revealed in a star-studded new film
About 15 years ago, I spent several weeks interviewing Manolo Blahnik, in an attempt to chronicle his extraordinary story, but eventually realised that his life was far too eventful to fit into a single magazine article, however hard I might try. So I am delighted to discover that a documentary about the great man is soon to be released – Manolo: the Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards – complete with appearances from his many famous fans, including Anna Wintour, Naomi Campbell and Rihanna (who has collaborated with Blahnik for three
footwear collections). Yet given the breadth of his experiences, even a full-length film may not cover all of Mr Blahnik’s many adventures. Born in the Canary Islands in 1942, he grew up on a banana plantation (where he used
to capture lizards and make shoes for them out of tinfoil from his mother’s cigarette packets). After flitting through Paris in the 1960s, he befriended David Hockney, Paloma Picasso, Bianca Jagger and Anjelica Huston (among many others); opened his first Chelsea boutique in 1973 (which he still occupies today); and has shod legendary women the world over, including Diana Vreeland, Jackie Onassis, Jerry Hall, Madonna and Princess Diana. Suffice to say, his supremely elegant, feather-light creations will take you anywhere and everywhere: from a banana plantation to Buckingham Palace and beyond… JUSTINE PICARDIE ‘Manolo: the Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards’ will be
on limited release from 22 September.
Hand-drawn designs by Manolo Blahnik