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'Sex and the City' cobbler Manolo Blahnik to receive BFA Outstanding Achievement honour

November 22, 2012
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With a career spanning almost 40 years and a label that creates some of the most popular designer footwear in the world, it's safe to say that Manolo Blahnik has more than contributed to the fashion industry. So it's fitting that the Spanish designer, whose stunning stilettoes turned Sex and the City into shoe-heaven, is to receive the Outstanding Achievement Award at this year's British Fashion Awards, set to take place on Tuesday November 27.

And the 69-year-old is delighted to be bestowed the accolade, saying: "It is a great honour to be receiving this award from the British Fashion Council. "To be recognised for doing something I love is really wonderful." The special honour is one of the most significant awards of the evening; it celebrates and recognises one designer who, throughout their career, has made an impact on the global fashion industry. "It is with great pleasure that we announce Manolo Blahnik as the recipient of this year's Outstanding Achievement Award," said BFC chief executive Caroline Rush.

"Throughout his career, he has contributed so much – not only to British fashion but also internationally. He has a worldwide cult following and this is true testament to his enduring talent and success. It is truly well deserved." Manolo studied languages and art at the University of Geneva, before moving to Paris in 1965 to begin his design career. And in 1973, he opened his first store in Chelsea's Old Church Street, where it remains his flagship store to date. Boasting a celebrity clientele that includes Michelle Obama, Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham, his shoes are synonymous with luxury, style and indulgence. But they were immortalised by Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, with his shoes mentioned so often that he was often referred to as the 'fifth character' in the series.

In 2007, he was given the honorary title of Commander of the British Empire for his service to the British fashion industry. And he will be working with the British Fashion Council on the creative brief for London Fashion Week's campaign and central location Somerset House. He was provided with an open brief and a blank canvas to bring the concept and creative from his world to be the backdrop of London Fashion Week, helping to cement London's reputation as one of the world's most innovative and original fashion capitals. "It will be a great honour to work with him on next season's London Fashion Week, we are extremely excited to see his designs on display at Somerset House," Caroline continued. Last year, Paul Smith took home the Outstanding Achievement Award. And Victoria Beckham was delighted to pick up Designer Brand of the Year, shedding a tear as she made her emotional acceptance speech.

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