A-list shoe designer Manolo Blahnik revealed that he was given a list of things to avoid saying to celebrities for fear of offending them in the hypercharged #MeToo era. And he says he wasn’t the only one handed such a list.
In an interview with the Sunday Times’ Style’s section published Sunday, 75-year-old Blahnik said that he has a hard time navigating the appropriate things to say in such a politically correct worldwide climate.
Blahnik, who has been in the high-end shoe business for the last five decades, added that many compliments nowadays can be construed as sexual harassment.
During the interview — which centers on high fashion and culture — the Canary Islands-born London designer pulled no punches.
“I don’t even know what I can say now,” Blahnik explained. “The other day, I have on my table a list of things I cannot say to people. I cannot say, ‘How wonderful you look.’ I cannot … pay compliments … because maybe it can be called sexual harassment.”
Blahnik, as he says this, reportedly sneered with “disbelief” and went on to note that the list wasn’t specifically for him, but that “someone” — a person so far unidentified — provided it to “everybody.”
“Somebody gave it to everybody,” he explained. “This is an American pseudo empire mentality. But sometimes, I say, when I am furious … ‘Oh, silly cow!'” The Times went on to note that “one of his favorite words is also ‘bitch.'”
Elsewhere in the interview, Blahnik calls musician Rihanna a “hot mama” and Prince Harry’s betrothed, Meghan Markle, “pretty.”
First Lady Melania Trump dared to wear one of Blahnik’s high-heeled foot creations when she and the president visited hurricane victims in Texas in September and received a screeching amount of criticism for her choice of footwear.
“Spiky pumps are completely appropriate footwear for a hurricane zone, right?” a critic at the Daily Beast wrote under headline, “Melania Trump Heads to Houston Hurricane Zone in Sky-High Stilettos.”
The first lady’s communications director issued a statement to those attempting to spin a controversy from nothing and said, “It’s sad that we have an active and ongoing natural disaster in Texas, and people are worried about her shoes.”
For his part, Blahnik said that he didn’t believe that Melania’s choice of shoes was in poor taste.
“I don’t think she’s insensitive,” Blahnik said. “I think she’s working non-stop to make it work — possibly she was just wearing the shoes she left New York in. Yes, I think probably she could have worn Hunter boots but she was wearing what she was wearing.”
He went on to admit that he’d been dressing Melania “long before all this nonsense” and had no intentions to cease.
“They should just get rid of everybody [in the White House] and keep her,” he explained. “Aesthetically I mean, I’m not talking about politics — I don’t give a damn about that and I don’t know much about it. But in terms of fashion and beauty — well, I love her, she’s a beauty and that’s all there is to it.”