Hailing from the world’s most fashionable footwear family, Manolo Blahnik CEO and maven Kristina Blahnik checks in to share her stylish selects.
Manolo Blahnik CEO Kristina Blahnik with her precious pup, Poppins.
“Sitting on my uncle’s lap watching him sketch when I was about 8 years old first sparked my interest in fashion,” shares Kristina Blahnik, CEO of Manolo Blahnik. “So you could say it’s genetic! One could say I grew up in a shoebox, as my first toys were shoeboxes and I spent my time in my uncle’s first shop in London, making dollhouses out of shipping cardboard in the office. Watching him design for all the beautiful people streaming in and out of the boutique every day really stirred a creative gene inside me,” she says. Fast-forward to today, and the maven is leading the brand into an even more fabulous future ahead. Hot on the heels of the Manolo Blahnik x Birkenstock Drop 2, we asked the style-setter for her glamorous guide to summer.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ITEMS IN THE COLLECTION FOR SUMMER IN THE HAMPTONS?
A classic forever sandal, Hata is a supersimple calf thong that you can wear anywhere, all day and all night—especially in the Hamptons. The smooth leather and the tiny sleek gold buckle make it an elevated classic. I will be wearing these all summer long with a crisp cotton or linen sundress for an effortless look.
WHAT OTHER BRAND NEWS CAN WE BUZZ FOR THE YEAR AHEAD?
It’s been a gloriously busy time for us, which is tremendously exciting. The Manolo Blahnik x Birkenstock Drop 2 styles just launched on June 23 with my uncle’s favorite pieces from the collaboration. The collaboration has taken Manolo and me by surprise as the first line we launched, we actually sold out globally within 12 hours. The second collection launched is possibly my favorite too. I adore the PVC slides! Last year we launched an online virtual exhibition called The Manolo Blahnik Archives—A New Way of Walking, curated by Judith Clarke. Comprising five virtual rooms, it celebrates 50 years of our brand and is something I’m intensely proud of. We’ve had over 250,000 unique visitors since it launched! For this year there will be more to come, as we will launch a new room in the exhibition.
WHAT ARE YOUR SUMMER BEACH ESSENTIALS?
I never go to the beach without a simple yet colorful sarong, a Kiini crochet bikini and my ever-faithful LL Bean Boat and Tote with bright colored handles (although I must confess I am currently coveting the Dior Book tote, which comes out in an array of dazzling colors and also is incredibly practical!). For shoes it will be one of the pairs of the Manolo Blahnik x Birkenstock collaboration, the Arizona white PVC flat sandals, which I feel will be another sellout; a S’well water bottle as I do drink lots of water; and of course a good book. I recently read Breath by James Nestor about the art and importance of breathing, and it truly changed my life. I also love a firm favorite and always bring one of my favorite books to reread over again; just one example is Loving Frank by Nancy Horan.
WHAT ARE YOUR SUMMER SKINCARE ESSENTIALS?
Brightening Defense SPF 50 by RVL; Straight to Heaven fragrance by Kilian; hyaluronic serum, super anti-aging serum, anti-pollution drops and rich face cream, all by Dr. Barbara Sturm; Carmex original lip balm.
Dr. Barbara Sturm anti-pollution drops, Bluemercury East Hampton
ANY FITNESS OR WELLNESS RESOURCES YOU LOVE FOR SUMMER IN THE HAMPTONS AND WHY?
I love my spin bike at home, so the SoulCycle BARN is my favorite go-to. The vibes at the barn make it not your average SoulCycle studio! I just love the wellness spaces in America and the choices you have to be fit and healthy. They always feel so incredibly fresh and innovative, and the energy in the USA is simply unmatched to what we have here in England.
Shou Sugi Ban House has been recommended to me and I would absolutely love to visit. The grounds remind me of something similar we have in England, but this is on another level!
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR LOCAL HAMPTONS FAVORITE SPOTS TO DINE AND ENJOY?
Si Si Restaurant at East Hampton Point is one of my favorites. The experience here is like none other—it’s beautifully designed, has amazing food and gorgeous sunsets. It’s everything you could want from a Hamptons evening.
I absolutely love eating alfresco in the garden and enjoying an amazing plate of pasta at Tutto il Giorno in Southampton.
Carissa’s Bakery is an absolute dream lunch spot with the best specialty treats and freshly baked breads on the East End!
Matriark has such an interesting concept, and I love anything that challenges the status quo. Their circular give-back program is truly inspiring.
Tiina the Store has an amazing fusion of beautiful architecture and creatively curated pieces—a real go-to in the Hamptons.
Topping Rose House is a picturesque place to unwind and enjoy the sunshine.
I love to wander Bridge Gardens in Bridgehampton. I have a true love of botany and gardens, which comes from my uncle and his extraordinary garden in Bath. Bridge Gardens makes me feel at home!
I love to take in the art and architecture at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill.
Photography by: PORTRAIT BY DARREN GERRISH