MANOLO MADNESS: “I’m so, so frantic,” exclaimed Manolo Blahnik before a personal appearance at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills on Thursday afternoon, and it was obvious why. The shoe designer has been on a whirlwind personal appearance tour of Neiman Marcus stores, including stops in Newport Beach and San Francisco as well as Beverly Hills this week [eds Oct. 3 to 8]. He commended the crowds at the appearances as “beyond my expectations,” even recalling one overjoyed fan at the Newport Beach store who ordered 20 pairs of crocodile styles. “I don’t even know what she’s going to do with them,” said Blahnik, adding that he gave her many suggestions he wouldn’t dare divulge. Looking forward, he hinted that 18th-century Russia is an inspiration for his next collection and said he would consider another retail experiment like World of Manolo, the three-month store-in-store at Liberty of London, although he begged someone to come up with a new term to describe it. “I hate that word pop-up,” he griped, annunciating the p’s.
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