The “king of shoes,” “a poet,” “an original,” “the greatest shoe-maker of the 20th and 21st century” — those are just a few ways to characterize footwear legend Manolo Blahnik, but they don’t come even close to describing his extraordinary decades-long career, which you can follow for yourself in his documentary, “Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes For Lizards,” which is now available for streaming on Netflix.
The film, which debuted last year to a great deal of buzz, chronicles Blahnik’s milestones, starting from his fixation with shoes as a child in the Canary Islands (he used to make shoes for lizards, hence the title) to his work with megastars like Rihanna, who is featured in the documentary, along with Karlie Kloss, Naomi Campbell, André Leon Talley and Rupert Everett.
Designers Charlotte Olympia Dellal and Isaac Mizrahi, classicist Mary Beard and many more figures from all areas of his life (art, literature, film, fashion) are included, as well.
“To be a great designer, great creator, you have to be interested in the world and history and people,” said Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. “I can’t remember the last time I wore anybody else’s shoes. I don’t even look at them.”
Shot by close friend Michael Roberts, the film is a must-see — even though the designer said, in his trademark self-deprecating manner, that he had planned to “shut my eyes during the whole preview; it’s going to be torture.”
“It weaves so many elements together: interviews, biography, animation, fantasy sequences,” Kristina Blahnik, the designer’s niece and CEO of Manolo Blahnik International, previously told FN. “Finally, we get to see Manolo in his true environment. You get insight into his mind and his private world. It isn’t about shoes; it’s about a feeling, a spirit.”