Fashion's leading shoemaker, Manolo Blahnik is one of the handful of designers whose name is synonymous with their product. His success has lasted from setting up as a shoe designer in a Chelsea boutique in the 1970s to the present day, with American Vogue's Anna Wintour declaring 'The truth is, I wear no other shoes except his'. Blahnik has collaborated with many leading fashion designers - from Ossie Clark at the start of his career and John Galliano at Dior at its height - but Blahnik's greatest achievement is to have made footwear, previously subservient to the overall concept of a look, the most important of all accessories. His many covers and features in the pages of Vogue reveal that wearing a pair of 'Manolos' is to be utterly transformed; in Blahnik's dreamy, handmade creations, a woman can reinvent her personality. She is a Lolita in his Mary-Janes and a red carpet diva in his satin mules. Or as Madonna once put it, with characteristic bluntness: 'His shoes are wonderful, and they last longer than sex.'
Chloe Fox is a feature writer for Vogue, the Telegraph Magazine, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, The Times and The Observer. She is the author of the successful Vogue on Alexander McQueen in this series. She lives on the Wiltshire-Dorset border with her husband and their three young children and is currently working on her debut novel.