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Designer has her shoe cake and eats it

SHOE TIME: Marcia Brown meets shoe designer Manolo Blahnik.

A BAKER who crafts eye catching cakes using handbags and stilettos as her inspiration has been given the stamp of approval from world famous shoe designer Manolo Blahnik.

Marcia Brown from Camberwell, met the man who counts Sex and the City character Carrie Bradshaw as his biggest fan at a book signing in luxury department store Liberty’s last month.

The businesswoman who runs Designer Art Cakes had never even heard of the feted Spanish craftsman. However she was encouraged by friends to try her luck.

With one of her most popular cakes packed safely in an Ikea bag, she headed to central London where her handiwork caught the eye of shop managers.

She was then invited to meet Blahnik personally who was impressed by Brown’s shoe designs which are made entirely out of sugar paste.

Brown told The Voice: “He had a thick Spanish accent, but he was very complimentary about one or two that he liked. He was very nice. His favourite was the black and white polka-dot stiletto which is actually very similar to one of his own designs.”

The south Londoner has always loved cakes but after being made redundant for the third time she decided that she wanted to develop her interest, perfecting her range of cake recipes before trying her hand at design.

“I promise you they taste as good as they look. I sometimes have to convince people to eat them because they don’t want to ruin the design,” she said.

Many of the people who meet Brown are surprised to learn that she did not attend any culinary courses. She taught herself by watching You Tube videos and is now running a successful enterprise with the knowledge she gained.

She said: “This was just a hobby that became a passion, but now it’s my business.

“I don’t just do shoes. I do everything from Chanel handbags, Tiffany jewellery and cartoon characters. As I get better and better, I enjoy it even more. I’m doing something unique and special and I think that’s what keeps people interested. It’s also a constant challenge to keep outdoing myself.”

Brown has now been shortlisted to feature in a Sky TV show tracking the journeys of entrants to Cake International – one of the largest cake exhibitions, to be held at the Excel Centre, in east London, in April.

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