George Malkemus, President of Manolo Blahnik, Launches 2012 Spring Collection in Miami
Manolo Blahnik has become a household name thanks to the brand's endorsement on the popular series "Sex & The City." Sarah Jessica Parker's character, Carrie Bradshaw, is obsessed with her Manolo Blahnik collection and let's face it...we don't blame her! The high end shoe brand has a flare of elegance and glamour every woman desires. Last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing George Malkemus (pictured on the right along with yours truly) who is the President behind this powerful worldwide brand. George arrived in Miami on Thursday, January 26th, to officially launch Manolo Blahnik's 2012 Spring collection inside the Saks Fifth Avenue store at the Bal Harbour Shops. During the event, shoe lovers had the opportunity to meet and speak with George about the latest designs and colors for the season. Guests were able to enjoy champagne, hors d'oeuvre and a little music while shopping around the shoe salon for their favorite new pair of heels. Check out my interview with George below and don't leave without watching Deco Drive's segment at the end of this post for a full recap of the event. Did I mention Shireen interviewed me for her Deco Segment? Thanks Shireen!
MBS: What's the inspiration behind Manolo's 2012 collection?
George: It's all about being ultra-feminine. The collection marks the return of very simple silhouettes like simple sandals and really beautiful colors. There is a real emphasis on colors especially here in Florida. It's simple footwear but crafted with very special colors.
MBS: How do you connect with the women who buy your shoes?
George: We spend a lot of time traveling across the country and to different parts of the world talking to customers. Manolo believes that is the pulse point of everything he does. It's all about that relationship that he has with his female consumers. Manolo makes sure to listen to the good, the bad and the indifferent. We also listen to men because men sometimes influence how women buy.
MBS: How would you describe Manolo himself?
George: He's one of my best friends. His mind is racing very fast...all the time. He loves animals and he has a great passion for shoes. I love his humility. Manolo (pictured below) always makes sure to keep his feet on the ground.
MBS: What are your favorite hot spots when you're visiting Miami?
George: Casa Tua is one of my very very favorites. I go there 2 to 3 times during my trip. I also love going to Mr. Chow and visiting the beach to people watch. I love Miami's vibe.
MBS: How does Monolo Blanik give back to the community?
George: We're heavily involved with Women in Need. This program helps women who are trying to get back on their feet again after being homeless or after overcoming their addiction problems. Many people don't realize that when a women has been down and out for a long time and she doesn't have the right make-up or wardrobe to wear to a job interview, it defeats her before she even walks through the door. Therefore, we try to help these women bounce back into the workplace. Manolo Blanik also supports Dress for Success and The Breast Cancer Research Foundation which was founded by our dear friend who recently passed away, Evelyn Lauder.