The award for Outstanding Achievement in Fashion was voted for by a panel of leading internationally acclaimed journalists and retailers to pay tribute to Manolo’s extraordinary career and contribution to the British and global fashion industry.
With a career spanning almost 40 years, Manolo Blahnik is one of the world’s most influential footwear designers and has been British Fashion Awards Accessory Designer of the Year three times in 1990, 1999 and 2003. In 2007, he was awarded the honorary title of Commander of the British Empire for his service to the British fashion industry.
A languages and art graduate of the University of Geneva, Manolo moved to Paris in 1965. After showing his portfolio of designs to Diana Vreeland on a visit to New York, she encouraged him to concentrate solely on footwear and by 1971 he was based in London making shoes. A year later, Ossie Clark used his collection in one of his eponymous shows and in 1973 he opened his first shop in Old Church Street, Chelsea where it remains his flagship store to date.
His signature style is his acclaimed craftsmanship and aesthetic, his shoes have become synonymous with luxury, style and indulgence. Manolo Blahnik’s shoes have rapidly become a symbol of 21st century fashion, he has developed a cult and devoted following around the world and were immortalised by Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City.
In 2003 the Design Museum, London opened a major exhibition of Manolo’s work and to coincide with this event Thames & Hudson produced ’Drawings’ a collection of Manolo’s best sketches used at the beginning of his design process.
Blahnik's international boutiques are located in London, New York, Las Vegas, Athens, Madrid, Istanbul, Dubai, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore and Stockholm.
He continues to work with fashion designers around the world and for February 2013, Manolo will also be working with the British Fashion Council on the creative brief for London Fashion Week’s campaign and central location Somerset House. He was provided with an open brief and a blank canvas to bring the concept and creative from his world to be the backdrop of London Fashion Week, helping to cement London’s reputation as one of the world’s most innovative and original fashion capitals.
Manolo Blahnik CBE commented “It is a great honour to be receiving this award from the British Fashion Council (BFC). To be recognised for doing something I love is really wonderful.”
“It is with great pleasure that we announce Manolo Blahnik as the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Achievement award. Throughout his career he has contributed so much, not only to British fashion but also internationally, he has a worldwide cult following and this is true testament to his enduring talent and success. It is truly well deserved and it will be a great honour to work with him on next season’s London Fashion Week, we are extremely excited to see his designs on display at Somerset House.” - Caroline Rush, CEO British Fashion Council.
British Fashion Council (BFC)
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