British shoe designer Manolo Blahnik has won the right to use his name in China for the first time, ending a costly 22-year legal battle, reports the Financial Times. In a rare ruling, China’s highest court cancelled a trademark incorporating the Manolo Blahnik name that has been owned by Chinese businessman Fang Yuzhou.
The decision will enable Blahnik—who started his business in London in 1971 and became a household name in the early 2000s through HBO’s Sex and the City—to sell his brand in the world’s fastest-growing luxury market for the first time.
“It was a huge hole in our existence,” Kristina Blahnik, chief executive of Manolo Blahnik and the founder’s niece, told the Financial Times. “When we got the call . . . genuine tears were shed.”