Chance meetings and split-second decisions can lead to taking a completely different path. Such is the story with Manolo Blahnik: were it not for a run-in with ex-American Vogue Editor Diana Vreeland, who pushed the then-set designer to turn his attention to shoes, his elegant creations may never have come into fruition. 

Boasting a career 40 years strong – in which he’s clocked up several design accolades, received a CBE from Her Majesty, and inspired countless books and documentaries – it seems impossible to imagine that Mr. Blahnik’s footwear trajectory happened accidentally.

Now, after decades of designing for loyal devotees including Anna Wintour, Michelle Obama and Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, his work is being celebrated in a new exhibition at The Wallace Collection. Already set in your calendar, care of our June Agenda, the exhibition, An Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahnik at the Wallace Collection, features a curated edit of Blahnik’s finest contemporary creations juxtaposed against the legendary works of the storied exhibition, which have served as inspiration for his designs over the years.

Ahead of his first talk at the gallery on Monday, we put to him our 8Qs to learn more behind the mind of one of fashion’s greats…



What's the mantra you tell yourself first thing in the morning? Keep going, keep going, keep going!

How do you take your coffee? Decaf with a lot of milk – the milk is always organic from Daylesford. Daylesford has kept me alive!



If you weren't doing what you're doing now, what would you be doing instead? A stonemason, I adore it.

If you could only keep one outfit in your wardrobe, which would it be? My first suit from Anderson and Sheppard, it was tweed. Sadly the moths have gotten to it…



Who's one person you'd love to have dinner with? I don’t do dinner, but I love having lunch with Penelope Tree.

What's the main thing you would like to achieve this year? Wonderful health!



Who would you want to record your audio autobiography, voice-wise? Rupert Everett.

Why did you end up doing what you do? Frankly, I don’t have a clue. But I will say fate, Ms Diana Vreeland and Ms Beatrix Miller.

Make the intricate designs of Manolo Blahnik yours with our edit via Browns Fashion:


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+ Shop our sunglasses wishlist courtesy of Fendi x Gentle Monster.

+ What inspires Zeus+Dione designer Dimitra Kolotoura? Find out here...