|Born||Manuel Blahnik RodrÃguez
27 November 1942
Santa Cruz de La Palma, Spain
If I was a woman, I would be dressed in the same thing for a month and just change my hat and gloves. Maybe my shoes too; yes, I see what you mean but, really, it's jewels that change an outfit.
Most of the people nowadays send their things by internet. But I cannot work that way. I like to do it myself.
My whole life has been a huge mistake, but what a divine mistake – doing something that I adore.
I'm like an old vampire, so it's important to talk to young people.
I hate these platforms that are all over the place today; they are all about grabbing attention. They are suburban! I never do a platform. Well, I did, in the 1970s, but that was a bad experience.
About half my designs are controlled fantasy, 15 percent are total madness and the rest are bread-and-butter designs.
Everything is global now. It's not London, it's not Spain, it's not Italy – everything is everywhere. So you have to be everywhere, I guess.
I do and re-do things that I used to do in a flash, because I want to be more perfectionist about these things. Maybe it sounds pompous and pretentious, but that's the way I feel.
I don't know why my shoes are so popular – I am always surprised and mystified by it.
People walk differently in high heels. Your body sways to a different kind of tempo.
I never wanted to be the most famous, the most beautiful, the most extravagant.
Some people just use beautiful things to just shop or to have a tribal feeling – 'Oh, blah, blah, blah, I'm wearing Hermes; blah, blah, blah, I'm wearing Saint Laurent; blah-blah blah' – because it's like a need, a tribe, recognition: 'Ahh, my Rolex.' But I run away from anything which is too recognizable – it's my nature.
I just don't get death at all. Yes, it's there. But I don't get it.
If I look back I feel frightened, not happy, because my life is a bit of a mystery to me.
I never thought that I would sell to young people, but now girls who are 14 and 15 buy my shoes.
What is fashion? It's discipline. Discipline and a credo to do only the best, down to the smallest detail.
Men tell me that I've saved their marriages. It costs them a fortune in shoes, but it's cheaper than a divorce. So I'm still useful, you see.
The greatest shoemaker in England for many, many decades; he used to be the royal shoe-maker for the Queen Mother. This is where I learnt my trade.
In London I feel free; nobody bothers anyone and everyone is free to express themselves.