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Spanish Czech Artist Manolo Blahnik's Design Presented by Czech Ambassador in Washington, DC

As part of the 100 years of independence celebrations, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, DC, presents “secret Czechs,” significant names known to the US public but hardly anyone would suspect them to be Czech. The famed artist Manolo Blahnik is one of them. Last year, he brought his exhibition The Art of Shoes to his paternal home, Prague, Czech Republic, for the first time. Recently, a special private showcase of the designer’s shoes came to Washington, DC.

At the residence of Czech Ambassador Hynek Kmoníček, a selection of the designer’s emblematic shoes were on display – strappy hot pink, red, and gold stilettos, blue high heels that grace the closet of Melania Trump, bejeweled satin shoes in sapphire blue fit for a princess, pumps from the highly acclaimed Sex in the City series, and even Blahnik’s famous “lizard shoes,” a striking pair of green ivy heels valued at close to $9,000. The Ambassador’s wife Indira Gumarova, wearing a black sequined wing-spanning dress with personally autographed Manolos, is a close friend of the renowned shoe designer and worked with him on bringing this collection to Washington.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Kmoníček explained the Czech connection of Blahnik, pointing out that in Czech his name spells as Blahník. As Spanish Ambassador Pedro Morenés Eulate stood to his right, Czech Ambassador Kmoníček explained that although Blahnik was raised in the Canary Islands and his mother was from Spain, his father was from the Czech Republic. The Ambassador said with a smile, “The Canary Islands may have lizards but you have to be Czech to make shoes for them.” Following his remarks, the Ambassador and his wife unveiled the highlight of the evening, a new pair of shoes for the upcoming season — grey pointed-toe satin heels with exquisite emerald colored jewels running down the front. Guests drew out their cameras to snap these striking new stilettos quickly spreading over social media.

In connection to the special viewing of select Manolos, the Ambassador and his wife screened the feature documentary Manolo: The Boy who Made Shoes for Lizards, in their dining room which they converted into a private theater where drinks and popcorn in original paper boxes from the movie premiere were served. The documentary inspired the full house in attendance, spurning conversations afterwards about Blahnik’s incredible life story and achievements.

Guests enjoyed Spanish iconic food, tapas, presented with a Czech twist (and wit). The embassy chef created an impressive pair of chocolate “Manolos” for the occasion, as well as an edible line of Manolos in pink, blue, orange, and white which guests could not resist photographing and savoring.

Ambassadors and spouses, curators of NGA and Phillips Collection, VP of Sotheby’s of DC, National Opera Committee Board members, fashion boutique owners, outlet media reps, White House representative, former White House communications director, US representatives, real estate developers as well as entrepreneurs from the fashion and beauty industry attended the event. 


Manolo Blahnik's Design at the Czech Ambassador's Residence