For three decades, Manolo Blahnik's shoes have held the fashion world spellbound. His sense of the theatrical wedded to the finest materials and superlative craftsmanship inspire fanatical devotion. Diane Von Furstenberg has more than 80 pairs, Paloma Picasso has been a fan since the age of 14, and Sarah Jessica Parker, Anna Piaggi and Kate Moss, to name a few, are fellow addicts. Here, collected together are over 100 drawings that Blahnik makes at the outset of the design process. These sketches are executed with such exuberance and deftness that they have become as sought-after as the shoes themselves (they often fetch up to #10,000 at charity auctions). Introductions by Anna Wintour and Michael Roberts explore why Manolo Blahnik's shoes inspire such passion, and these are complemented throughout the book by the words of admirers, including well-known celebrities. Michael Roberts also contributes a photographic essay showing Blahnik at work in his studio, making sketches, preparing the wooden lasts and supervising the production of his shoes at his factories in Italy. A final "inspirations" section includes Blahnik's own photographs of family, friends and inspirational places.
Anna Wintour is the editor of American Vogue. Michael Roberts is fashion editor of The New Yorker and author of, among many other books, Jungle ABC (also published by Thames & Hudson).