British Fashion Awards 2012: Manolo Blahnik Wins Outstanding Achievement Award

27 November 2012 by

Update: Zaha Hadid DBE presented Mr Blahnik with his Outstanding Achievement Awards at tonight's ceremony in London. Kate Moss paid tribute via video saying he calls her his 'Little Chicken' and Anna Wintour sent all her love.

Big whoops to you, Mr Blahnik! This morning, the British Fashion Council have announced that the shoe master will receive the Outstanding Achievement Award at this year’s British Fashion Awards, due to take place at the Savoy Hotel on Tuesday, 27th November (that's less than a week, peeps).

This isn't any old award - oh no. According to the BFC, this is a 'special award' that is one of the most significant of the evening and 'celebrates and recognises one designer, who throughout their career, has made an impact on the global fashion industry.' Last year, National Treasure Sir Paul Smith picked up the accolade and previous winners include the likes of John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. 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.

Indeed, Manolo Blahnik is well and truly enshrined as an icon in the halls of luxury fashion history with his elegant, perfectly-made shoes being worn by everyone from Carine Roitfeld and Carrie Bradshaw to Marge Simpson. Oh, and let's not forget Kate Moss and Bella Swan wore Manolos on their wedding days.

It all began back in 1968 when the designer moved to London to work at fashion boutique Zapata. Diana Vreeland championed his footwear designs but it was in 1972 when he got his big break and Ossie Clark invited him to create shoes for his catwalk show. He stayed true to his stiletto creations in contrast to the mainstream chunky platform boots of the '70s and now owns boutiques across the globe, from Las Vegas to Dubai. No wonder Madonna described his heels as 'better than sex'.

After years of towering platforms dominating the fashion landscape, during which time Manolo never once bowed to popular opinion and created super elevated ones himself, his thin soled, pointy toed spindle-heeled pumps steamed straight to the top of the Autumn Winter 2011 wish lists. In October last year, we reported that his dainty kicks were selling out all over New York City. Then Manolo released an eco shoe made out of old fish skin. Yes, we faltered slightly too, but they really are gorgeous. The range of sustainable shoes was part of a collaboration US-based eco-designer Marcia Patmos who has been designing sustainable clothes since the late '90s. As for his successes this year, footwear fans rejoiced when Manolo teamed up with Kurt Geiger to launch a boutique in Harrods and Liberty (our bank balance was not so happy). Then Mr Manolo coaxed VB out of her Louboutin heels and into a pair of flat buckled Monk shoes. The designer created the flats for Lady Beckham's Spring Summer 2013 mainline collection, convincing us that androgynous is the new shoe-du-jour.

So three cheers to you, Manolo! We're looking forward to toasting your success next week.


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