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The Consolation of the Shoes Manolo Loves The Shoes! Thu, 21 Jun 2012 13:17:03 +0000 en Who is Manolo the Shoeblogger? Sat, 12 May 2007 20:55:35 +0000 admin How does one explain Manolo the Shoeblogger to someone who’s never visited his wildly popular internet site? Well, take two parts high-class shoe fetishist, one part Ricky Ricardo, and one part Jacques Barzun, a dash of Ignatius J. Reilly, shake vigorously and decant liberally, and you’ve got Manolo the Shoeblogger.Manolo the Shoeblogger

Since first appearing in October, 2004, his website, Manolo’s Shoe Blog, has become one of the best read fashion sites on the internet, and the Manolo himself has been praised by authorities as various as the Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Fortune, the Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, and the master shoe designer himself, Manolo Blahnik, for his eccentric, erudite, and at times outrageous sense of humor, and for his extensive knowledge of shoes and fashion.

Now, in The Consolation of the Shoes, the Manolo reveals yet another side of himself, recounting a late night visitation from a mysterious woman, a visitation that sends the young Manolo on a quest to find the perfect pair of shoes. Along the way he wrestles with a series of footwear-based teleological and eschatological problems culminating in a transcendent moment of pure shoe joy. Throughout the Manolo remains his usual unusual self, full of cockeyed aphorisms, oddball observations, and trenchant social and cultural commentary, all of it both hilarious and very intelligent.

Find out what the readers of Manolo’s Shoe Blog have long known, that fashion and philosophy are not incompatible, and that Manolo the Shoeblogger is one of the funniest and smartest people you’ll read this year.

Manolo the Shoeblogger’s Press Clippings


“But a recent story in The New York Times on this burgeoning arena of citizen fashion reporters sadly overlooked the guy we think is the most entertaining: Manolo the Shoe Blogger”

Sydney Morning Herald, September 26, 2005

The king of the fashion blogosphere is the mysterious author of Manolo the Shoeblogger. A verbal parody of Manolo Blahnik, the site is filled with discussions about shoes, celebrities, and a guided tour of the TV programmes the Shoeblogger’s watching and books he’s reading.

Unlike blogs that just trawl the shops telling you what to buy, the pleasure here is in the wit and erudition fo his writing, for here is a man who names Marcel Proust, Epicurus, Michel de Montaigne, John Locke and Adam Smith as his intellectual heroes, while waging an online war against the poncho and those weird rubber shoes called Crocs.

But the great pleasure of reading Manolo’s blogs is his exuberant manipulation of the English language…

Linda Grant, “Trade Secrets”, Vogue UK, January, 2007


“Mais qui est le Manolo?” Manolo le Shoeblogger est un individu modeste qui adore les chaussures. Il est plus grand que vous ne l’imaginez, il a plus de cheveux que vous ne le pensez et il est bien mieux éduqué que vous ne le croyez. C’est un flâneur appliqué qui adore se promener dans les rues des grandes villes, s’asseoir aux terrasses, échanger des gossips aves ses amis en sirotant des cappuccinos et des Campari. La mode et la culture pop sont ses sujets favoris, et bien qu’il soit versé dans des sujets plus profonds, il est fier d’être superficiel.

Vogue Francais, December, 2006


A NEW YORKER who goes by the name Manolo the Shoeblogger has been delighting the fashion pack this year with bitchy snippets about high-profile individuals, calling John Galliano, for instance, a “freaky little fashion troll” and Gerard Depardieu “slovenly and outwardly repulsive”. Rather disappointingly, the cutting remarks haven’t been coming from Manolo Blahnik himself, although the great man doesn’t seem at all bothered by the gossip the cyber blog has generated. “Manolo the Shoeblogger? Sorry, not me. But it’s very funny, isn’t it? Hilarious,” Blahnik told The Times.

Vogue UK Daily News, October 19, 2005


If you haven’t seen it before you really must go have a look - it’s a blog written by ‘the Manolo’ about shoes and celebrities. Odd topic? Yes and no - in fact the more I reflect on ‘the Manolo’ the smarter I realize that they are as its a blog that crosses two popular niches - shoes and celebrity.

The blog is written in the third person by ‘the (anonymous) Manolo’ who has a real cult following. The style of writing is quirky, fun and at times quite bizarre - but I (and many thousands of others) love it!

Problogger, September 23, 2005


We are referring, of course, to The Manolo, surely the God of BlogMarketing

Mr. Snitch Blog, March 7, 2005

The Click
Super Fantastic Shoe Genius
King of the Heel
Shoe are You?


Read an excerpt from the Manolo’s forthcoming autobiography, Super Fantastic

Illustrations Sat, 12 May 2007 20:01:00 +0000 admin View full color versions of all the illustrations contained in The Consolation of the Shoes.


Discussion Forums Sat, 12 May 2007 19:21:40 +0000 admin A place where all of the Manolo’s internet friends can talk about shoes and literature and anything else that tickles their fancy.

The New Pamphleteer Sat, 12 May 2007 18:55:01 +0000 admin The Manolo’s The Consolation of the Shoes is published by the New Pamphleteer, an internet-based publishing company that seeks to filter out and preserve whatever is worth preserving from the great digital stream of the web and give it a second life in print. And because pamphlets are the ideal form for this purpose, they offer an ongoing series of pocket-sized booklets that can be read in an hour and that tell you exactly as much as you need to know on an eclectic range of topicsno more and no less.

Who are the Pamphleteers?

We are professional book editors impatient with the timidity and calculating commercialism of big publishers when it comes to the expression of challenging ideas. No one knows better than us that inside every $30 hardover there is a lean, mean, tautly argued pamphlet screaming to get out. In todays digitized, rapid-fire, ADD culture, pamphlets are the natural medium for the expression of timely, original and challenging ideas and arguments. We are determined to offer a new way for writers with something to say to reach the people who want to hear it.

ADAM BELLOW (president and editorial director) is a 20-year publishing veteran with a well-earned reputation as an against-the-grain contrarian. The editor of such infamous tomes as Illiberal Education, The Real Anita Hill, and Charles Murrays The Bell Curve, he played a pivotal role in the conservative intellectual revolt of the 80s and 90s. Yet he has never been a political partisan, and has also published books attacking the conservative movement from both left and right. His congenital weakness for cranks, eccentrics, autodidacts, independent scholars, and other intellectual outriders is what led him to establish The New Pamphleteer.

DAVID S. BERNSTEIN (vice president and publishing director) is a veteran entrepreneur and publishing hand. He was co-founder and executive vice president of, and founding editor of Diversity and Division magazine. He has posted editorial stints at The Free Press, SmartMoney, and John Wiley & Sons.

Click here to be taken to the website of the New Pamphleteer.

Read an Excerpt from The Consolation of the Shoes Sat, 12 May 2007 18:45:01 +0000 admin MANOLO says, many years ago, when the young Manolo was sunk into despair over the dismal and impoverished conditions in which he had found himself, he sat down at the rickety table in his tiny garret, picked up his pen, and turned to his muses to help him write the few lines of baleful poetry commemorative of his state. As the tears of the Manolo spilled onto the paper, causing the lavender ink of his sorrowful verse to run, there appeared to him, as in a dream, the tall, majestic older woman clad in the finely tailored pink Chanel suit of the cut and style that was not of that season, nor the last, but of the previous generation.

In the right hand this regal woman carried the Hermes bag; in the left she brought illustrated books of the sort that appear on the finest coffee tables in this benighted land. Her countenance was kindly and wise, her upswept silvery hair bore the faint traces of the master coiffeur’s art, and upon her feets were the handsome and luxurious shoes made of the opulent leather and adorned with the tiny gems of the most costly type.

“Ayyyyy!” shouted the Manolo. “Who are you?”

She did not immediately answer, but seated herself at the end of the Manolo’s hard, narrow bed and placed her tastefully jeweled hand upon his shoulder.

I am Lady Fashion, my child.

“Ayyyyyyyy!” the Manolo again shouted, this time for joy, for in that instant the Manolo saw that it was true, that here in his chilly room was the personification of the deity whom the young Manolo worshipped with his entire being.

“O, Mistress of All Virtues,” asked the Manolo, the tears welling in his eyes, “why have you come down from the Fashion Heaven to visit this lonely place of banishment and sorrow?”

“I have come to bring solace,” She said, “to you who have begun to toil in my name.”

And with that, Lady Fashion then opened one of her books and pointed to the picture of the most beautiful shoes the Manolo had ever seen. At first glance, the Manolo was suffused with the intense feeling of well-being and happiness, as if the top of his head were being opened and pure grace poured in, filling him to the brim with contentment and joy.

“Do you see the shoes, my child? I wish you to attend to them closely, and to remember them, and to remember this simple and eternal verity: We shall always have the shoes.”

“Yes,” answered the Manolo, somewhat puzzled by this statement. “We shall always have the shoes. But what do you mean by this?”

“Just that, Manolo, we shall always have the shoes.” And then the Manolo woke up at his desk, covered in sweat and purple ink from the fountain pen still clutched in his right hand, but also now wondering about that which Lady Fashion had tried to impart to him in this most curious dream. What could she have meant by this statement, “We shall always have the shoes�” And what of those glorious shoes in the picture she had shown the Manolo? Although the afterglow of the dream still filled the Manolo with happiness, he found that he could not remember what the shoes had looked like. He could still recall the intense rightness he had felt when he had looked at the shoes, but he could not remember even whether they were for the man or the woman, or whether they had heels, or even whether they were the boots or the tennis shoes. Nothing remained with him but the emotions he had experienced and Lady Fashion’s cryptic statement.

So this was the philosophical conundrum, one upon which the youthful Manolo spent many long hours pondering as he went about the business of his life in the days and weeks that followed.

“We shall always have the shoes.” What did Lady Fashion mean? “We shall always have the shoes�”

In the first of the places, the Manolo was not convinced�

Buy the Pamphlet Now!

Reviews and News! Sat, 12 May 2007 18:34:43 +0000 admin Press clippings, reviews, and blog posts about Manolo the Shoeblogger’s The Consolation of the Shoes


Meet Herr Prof. Dr. Boethius von Korncrake Sat, 12 May 2007 17:09:00 +0000 admin Herr Professor Doktor Boethius P. von Korncrake
The forward to The Consolation of the Shoes was provided by Manolo the Shoeblogger’s long time friend, Herr Professor Doktor Boethius P. von Korncrake, the current occupant of the Klaus Meine Chair of Medieval Semiotics at the Institut für Europäische Spielwissenschaft und Freizeitforschung in Bitterfeld, Germany.

A Skeleton Key to the Consolation of the Shoes Sat, 12 May 2007 10:50:50 +0000 admin Coming soon, Prof. Dr. von Korncrake’s A Skeleton Key to the Consolation of the Shoes, a page by page explication of Manolo the Shoeblogger’s masterwork, The Consolation of the Shoes. Herr Prof. Dr. von Korncrake delves deeply into the structure and meaning of this important work, elucidating the obscurities and highlighting the profoundities contained within its pages.

Super Fantastic! Sat, 12 May 2007 10:33:21 +0000 admin An Excerpt from the Manolo’s Forthcoming Autobiography, Super Fantastic

Manolo says, the earliest memories of the little tiny Manolo were of shoes, beautiful, glittering women�s shoes on the feets of beautiful, glittering womens striding past the little Manolo as he sat on the sidewalk in front of the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid begging pitiably for the alms. Perhaps the little Manolo, he was four or five years old, the age at which the young gypsy children are first taught the dark arts of survival.

Yes, it is true, the Manolo was born into the family of itinerant Calé, gypsies who roamed the countryside dancing, singing, begging, sometimes stealing, for their next meal. And when the time arrived for the tiny Manolo to be put out onto the sidewalk, the hat by his elbow, the look of carefully cultivated despair upon his little face, he proved to be the tiny master of mendication, one who was capable of stirring up the most tender emotions in those who passed by.

During those earliest years, the family of the Manolo it was the happy one. The little Manolo, he was the thirteenth of the fourteen children of the Maria Jesus and the Gustavo Blavatsky, the next to the last save his tiniest brother, the evil Maximo.

Who, you may ask, were these parents of the Manolo? The Gustavo Blavatsky, he was indeed not the ordinary gypsy father. Although many may have doubted it, he was the full-blooded Polish aristocrat, the bankrupted count exiled from his home in the years following the War of the Second World. Twice, the unlucky Gustavo was forced to flee Poland, first from the scourge of the Nazis in 1938, and then, at the end of the war from the hated communists. The second time, he found himself in Sevilla, where he supported himself by tap-dancing in the manner of the Nicholas Brothers on the corners of the streets for spare change, the skill he had learned in what could be called the “unconventional” childhood. However, it is needless to say, that in the impoverished Spain of the Franco, the market for the tap-dancing, exiled and bankrupted Polish counts was not strong. And so he would have moved on, perhaps to Tangiers, or Marseille, except he had, at the first sight, fallen in love with the Maria-Jesus, the soon-enough-to-be mother of the Manolo.

What is there to say about the Maria-Jesus, except that she was the great Roma beauty of the dark flashing eyes, the billowing skirts, and the fiery temper. The Gustavo was smitten from the first instant he saw her, near the Alameda de Hercules, attempting to work the elaborate grift involving the be-manged elderly monkey and the wallet of the unsuspecting passerby. Moony-eyed, the Gustavo gaped at the beauty of the Maria-Jesus, blowing for her the gaff. She angrily retaliated by trying to pick his pocket of threadbareness, only to find instead his great poverty and manifest confusion. Out of pity she took him home, as one takes in the lost dog, to feed and care for. And so the Count Gustavo Blavatsky, the handsome payo man of honesty, honor, and cheerful stupidity was adopted by the Romani, the thing so rare as to be almost unheard of, although there was perhaps never one less suited to the life of the gypsy.

Of the course, this it is not to say that the route of true love was without trouble. Indeed, the very idea of the gitana girl in love with the gacho man was more than some, including the grandfather of the Manolo, could tolerate. Many were the attempts to keep the Gustavo and the Maria-Jesus apart, and many were the failures�they were both so terribly in the love. Yet, over time, Gustavo, who then lived in the caravan of the distant cousin, came to be accepted by the tribe and by the Manolo�s grandfather, and thus the wedding was arranged.

More than anything else, it was perhaps the way the not-yet-the-father of the Manolo rode that won for him the respect and love of the Manolo’s grandparents. Almost from the beginning of time, the family of the Manolo had two disgraceful horses to pull the caravans, Bruja the Unmanagable Mare, and Beto the Accidental Gelding. Many were the times the Manolo could remember when the Gustavo would unhitch the Bruja, and ride her into the nearest village to fetch back the necessities. He sat the mare in his own peculiar fashion, not like the slumping, barely aboard gitano, nor like the arrogant Spanish hidalgo born to the mount, but instead he rode as if he were leading the futile charge against the phalanx of panzers tanks, as straight and grim as the ghoul of reaping, racing down the road at full roar. The man such as this was to be respected and valued for his sterling qualities, even if they did not lay in the direction of the dance.

So this unconvetional match between the straight-backed outsider and the beautiful gitana was arranged and consummated, and within the prescribed number of months the Maria Jesus was with the child who would become the first born of this unlikely and impoverished pair. They named him Gustavo, like the father, and the father of the father before that, for the simple reason that he would someday inherit the title Blavatsky, the title which had never, even in the best of the days, included more than the tumbledown great house and the marshy fields, the ancient toothless retainers, and the tradition of this name Gustavo.

Within the second year of this marriage, the second child was concieved, who appeared nine months later as the girl, more alert and lively than her stolid brother. And the year after that was the next child, and the next, and the next, each child more precious and precocious than the last, as if the dullness of the honest Pole had leaked away with each birth to be replaced by the quickness and temper of the gypsy. By the time the teeny Manolo made his entrance as the thirteenth in this blessed line, it was from all appearances the pure gitano baby that the midwife laid upon the now matronly bosom of the Maria-Jesus.

“Ayyyyyy! He shall be the dancer!” shouted the Abuelita of the Manolo, “Look at the feets!”

“Or the bull-fighter,” said the Grandfather when he was given the news, “He shall be Manolo, in honor of the Manolete!”

And the elder Gustavo, who had long before exhausted the supply of his family names, agreed to this; agreed with the silent shoulder shrugging gesture he had developed as the put-upon father of the dozen unruly half-gitano children.

And there was joy in the encampment.

Velazquez’s Philip IV Sat, 12 May 2007 07:13:27 +0000 admin velazquezphilipiv.jpg