As one of fashion’s most influential shoemakers, Manolo Blahnik has literally provided an impeccably-crafted foundation for celebrities and stylistas to tread upon for years, drawing the support of everyone from Rihanna to Vogue editor Anna Wintour — both of whom praise the icon’s work in EW’s exclusive trailer for an upcoming documentary about his life, Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards.
“I can’t remember the last time I wore anybody else’s shoes. I just don’t even look at them,” Wintour says in the clip. “Myths are created around people the way they have been around Manolo, and I think he doesn’t really know how to deal with it.”
Blahnik rose to prominence in the 1970s after Diana Vreeland, head of Vogue years before Wintour took the reins, encouraged him to turn his sketches into wearable designs. He then opened a boutique after crafting footwear for English designer Ossie Clark and over the years evolved into one of the leading shoe creators in the industry.
“[Second] man on the cover of British Vogue. This is a testament to his style,” André Leon Talley, former editor-at-large for Vogue, muses. “He’s a poet. He’s up there with Baudelaire.”
“He is the king of shoes,” model Naomi Campbell adds, while Iman continues: “There is no ‘Manolo Blahnik.’ It’s Manolo. Every woman knows it. My daughter knows what a Manolo is.”
EW’s exclusive preview of the film also teases contributions from Rihanna and Rupert Everett, who feature in the documentary alongside Karlie Kloss, Isaac Mizrahi, Paloma Picasso, and Candace Bushnell — all of whom share insight into the ways the 74-year-old has pushed the envelope for wearable art.
But perhaps it’s Blahnik himself who offers the purest assessment of his passion.
“When I don’t like something, I just give hell,” he explains. “My joy in life is spending time in the factories, you see. It is quite sad to say that, but this is the only thing I love.”
Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards opens Sept. 15 in New York City and Sept. 21 in Los Angeles. Watch EW’s exclusive trailer for the film above.