Shoe god Manolo Blahnik is descending to Earth, specifically the style isle of Palm Beach.
The high-heel-hero will be at Neiman Marcus Palm Beach, at 151 Worth Avenue Friday, March 22 from 2 to 4 p.m., signing his shoes for customers and introducing a foot-fashion design he chose specifically for the resortey clientele.
On Tuesday, March 19, Neiman Marcus Palm Beach will have a "Pre-Sale & Pedicures" event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Wednesday, March 20 there will be a "Bites & Blahniks" lunch-by-the-bite from noon to 2 p.m. And on Thursday, March 21 the store is hosting "Cupcakes & Couture...Shoes" from 2 to 5 p.m. All of the events are free and open to the public. For more information, call 561-805-6149.
Before he mixes with moda-mortals, I caught up with Blahnik while he was hanging out in a pseudo-Olympus, in this case a suite at the St. Regis in New York, for a quick Q&A:
Everyone is so excited about your visit. When exactly are you arriving?
"Late Wednesday night. And you know the first thing I'm going to do? I'm going to put on my Lilly Pulitzer and go to the pool and relax."
What are you going to wear to the event?
[Laughing] "A pink suit or maybe violet - funny colors like that. Some shocking colors. And a bow tie. I've been wearing bow ties since I was 18 or 17. My father wore them in the '40s but I looked at them and said, 'This is now.' Now I'm an old man, but I still wear them. I travel very light you know: two suits and two pairs of underwear."
And in Florida you don't even need the underwear, right?
[Laughing] "I think that is for another lifestyle that I don't want to do. No, I better not."
Being in the tropics won't be anything new to you since you grew up in the Canary Islands, right?
"Oh yes, it's the same weather, the same palm trees, the same thing. It's very much like being in the Canary Islands. Of course there it is much more African, in the sense that we have storms and the sands blow in from the desert."
I know you've been to Palm Beach before, but have you been to other parts of South Florida?
"Yes, Bal Harbour I like. We've been to the stores there. I don't know Miami too well. I think I've been to Miami three times. It's too much for me. Miami is the kind of place you go to a place you know, where ever, you see it for five seconds and then you get out."
What shoe did you select for the Palm Beachers?
"It's a Daisy. If you think of it, it's kind of like a Lilly Pulitzer thing, like one of her old prints...but it's with cut-outs."
What from your spring/summer line do think the Palm Beach ladies will gravitate toward?
"Oh, things like sandals and open things that are kind of easy. They're going to like the high heel sandals, which are very good. A high heel sandal is one thing that people always need."
I read that you don't think too much of the new crop of Hollywood actresses, that they aren't too memorable. Is that true?
"I have a short list of girls that I like. I really like Nicole Kidman, I love Uma Thurman. I like Amazonian women, tall...beautiful. I saw a movie she was in last year with that vampire boy Robert Pattinson and Thurman was so beautiful. It was not a very good movie, but you can't believe how beautiful she was."