Manolo Blahnik received the honorary title of Commander of the British Empire, appointed by the Queen, for the services he has rendered to the British fashion industry. The Spanish-Czech shoe designer, known as Manolo, was recognized as being part of the talent that has helped bring London its renown as one of the leading fashion capitals of the world. Born in the Canary Islands in 1942, he started his business in the UK capital in 1973, when he bought up a shoe shop called Zapata in Chelsea.