Manolo Blahnik.

Just the word conjures up images of sky-high, ultra-luxurious and extremely expensive shoes. The man himself, however, is warm, funny and social; he recently stopped by Fairfield County to show his loyal shoe addicts some love.

Blahnik, 67, took part in an event at Richards of Greenwich Wednesday night. The in-store appearance featured Blahnik signing shoes and selling copies of his new book, "Manolo's New Shoes, Drawings by Manolo Blahnik." Dedicated fans lined up early to get their favorite pairs signed, and many tried on new styles to bring home.

"I love these shoes!" Blahnik exclaimed when someone handed over a pair of patent leather baby blue high-heeled sandals. He exchanged jokes with fans and posed for pictures as his crew handed out copies of books and helped with shoe choosing.

The turnout was excellent, and the fashion everyone displayed was even more so. Seemingly, everyone pulled out all the stops for Blahnik. Shoes and bags were in perfect condition, up to the moment and fashion forward. Women of all ages, from young girls to women in Blahnik's age range patiently waited on line, chatting about his designs with each other. Blahnik seemed to unite all shoe lovers under one roof.

"Over 200 people attended the event," said Lani Kopstein of Glodow Nead Communications, who organized the event. "It was a great turnout. Lots of Manolos bought."

Blahnik rarely does United States appearances. He was asked by Richards, which is owned by Mitchells, to have an event. "We asked and he was nice enough to come," said store manager and owner Scott Mitchell. "It's a dream come true to have him in our store. We like designer-customer relationships."

Blahnik seemed equally happy to be there. "I love the area," he said when asked why he came to Greenwich. He also loves his fans who, in turn, love him back. Richards sold many shoes from the event alone.

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