Manolo says platforms are over -- Telegraph article


Feb 23, 2006

Manolo Blahnik stamps out the platform shoe

‘Sex & The City’ shoe designer prefers the ‘Zero Sole’

By Hilary Alexander, Fashion director
Published: 3:08PM BST 23 Oct 2009 Shoe designer Manolo Blahnik beside his leopard print platform design from 1972 ( left) and his 'zero' heels form his latest collection for s/s 2010 (right). Photo: GETTY

There can be chine else in the world as thrilled as Manolo Blahnik, the man who put the sexy shoe into ‘Sex & The City’, that the clumpy, plodding reign of The Platform appears to be finally tottering to a close.
“Yes, yes, yes. No more platforms, please. I’m so glad!” the celebrity cobbler said this week at the launch of his spring/summer 2010 collection at Soho House, which features elegant spike-heeled stilettos on a fine, ‘zero’ sole, and pretty flat sandals.
“Maybe I lost money by not doing them (platforms) when they were in fashion this time. But I don’t care. I did them in the 70s. That was enough for me. Never again! I don’t like them!”
A quick browse through the elegant Thames & Hudson publication, “Manolo Blahnik drawings”, with a foreword by no less than Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue, reveals Blahnik’s obsession with the platform sole nearly forty years ago. Several drawings, signed, dated and accompanied by descriptions and notes in his flowery script, are of platform designs made in 1971 for Ossie Clarke. Another drawing features a lime-green, one-strap sandal, balanced on what Blahnik describes as ‘a brick’, of black patent leather; another, an ankle-strap platform in leopard-print with a high, stacked heel, could have stepped straight off the Paris catwalks during the autumn/winter designer shows in March.
“Don’t talk to me about platforms. I’ve done it all before. It bores me now. I want shoes to be beautiful, so women walk beautifully. Shoes should be beautiful - Oh, and of course, a little fun also.”
Next season’s collection is certain to thrill the international fan club of ‘Manolo-cholics’. The designs are grouped in several categories. Sculpture, for example, takes reference points from the works of Alexander Calder, and architecture, and includes a glorious ‘Guggenheim’ high-heeled, sandal in curved, semicircles of different neutral shades. ‘Equestrian’ covers the thonged, strapped and laced styles, with a hint of dressage and saddlery which take their inspiration from the riders and horses in paintings by Rubens. ‘Spectacle’ gives free rein to Blahnik’s sense of wit and fun and draws on the theatre and the Big Top. One style, in particular, in purple and white-checked satin and crepe-de-chime, has a hint of the gladiatress, with cut-outs and a peep-toe; another, a peep-toe, sling-back ankle-boot, is in a pretty, blue rose, Liberty print; while a black-and-white canvas, ‘clown spot’ flat, piped in red, is tied at the ankle with a wide, leather bow.
‘Applique’ embraces a range of heels and flats, decorated with revetted, leather flowers, while medieval ironwork craftsmen have given rise to intricate sandals, cut from a single piece of Cordovan leather, worked in swirls and filigrees. There is not a platform to be seen.
But will we be seeing more Manolo’s in the movie sequel to ‘Sex & The City’, which recently started filming in New York?
“I’ve sent them lots, but you never know,” the shoe designer says.
If I’m any judge, SJP/Carrie will have taken one look at Manolo Blahnik spring/summer 2010 - and decided she needs much, much more wardrobe space.
In the meantime, Blahnik is working on the second edition of his drawings which will be published next year.


Let's get some shoes
May 10, 2007
He has never made any excuses for hating platforms and thinking that have become excessive lately. I can't say I disagree. While I don't hate platforms and do have several pairs, I think double platforms are excessive. I don't like any of the new CLs with crazy high platforms. IMO, they look clunky and not very sexy.

Of course, I have a pair of Betsey Johnson double platforms that I love.
Aug 31, 2008
I think it's hilarious that they're proclaiming that "the clumpy, plodding reign of The Platform appears to be finally tottering to a close" as CL's platforms are getting ever higher :P.

I'm not a fan of double platforms either, but it doesn't seem to me that they're going anywhere. Though I am glad that there are other options!

Mia Bella

Mar 27, 2008
Manolo likes the "zero sole" because he doesn't have to wear them! :blah: I guess that's why I don't own any of his shoes. :smile:

I have to wear 3"+ heels for hours and hours at a time and shoes with even the slightest platform are the only ones that save my sanity (and my FEET).

Platforms are here to stay Manolo. Bet on it!


Mar 27, 2009
That's Manolo's opinion, he does the classic feminine heel. Perhaps he should take a look at this season's looks, the platform is going nowhere :P Of course he will be advertising his own styles... not that that's wrong!

While I love both styles, in general I adore my platforms, I need the extra height and they are just so much more comfortable! Plus how can they be 'clunky' if you know how to walk properly in them? However I cannot stand the ridiculous platforms you see, the ones that are over 6in, those are crazy... if models can't work them, I know I can't!


Happy living
Mar 15, 2006
I love all types of shoes, and will wear them however I please. Platforms are comfy! And I agree with shoeangel: I plan to wear heels till my feet are old and my toes crossed over the other =D

Vintage Leather

Bag Lady
Jan 30, 2007
This is exactly why the only Manolos I still own are flats!
Yes, the zero sole and delicate heel can be very sexy. But limping in pain is not sexy. I'd rather have a bit of a platform (no need to overdo it though) and no pain at the end of the day.


Jan 27, 2009
I love his shoes, and for a high heel, they are more comfortable for my feet than any other designer. However, with that said, since I am not tall at all, I have had some sort of platform heel in my shoe collection since I wore heels. I am not talking about the double or triple platofrms, but more like an inch or less. Those will never be in or out, they are just a constant I think.