Blahnik was born in Santa Cruz de la Palma, in the Canary Islands (Spain), to a Czech father and Spanish mother. His father left Prague in the 1930s to avoid rising fascism; his grandparents disappeared in the 1950s after the Communists took charge. His mother's family owned a banana plantation in the island city of Santa Cruz de la Palma, where he grew up alongside his sister, Evangelina. He was homeschooled when he was a child. After he grew up, he attended a Swiss boarding school. Later, his parents wanted him to be a diplomat, and enrolled him at the University of Geneva majoring in Politics and Law. However, Blahnik changed his majors to Literature and Architecture. In 1965, he got his degree and moved to Paris to study art at the École des Beaux-Arts and Stage Set Design at the Louvre Art School, all while working at a vintage clothing shop. In 1969, he moved to London to work as a buyer at fashion boutique "Feathers" and wrote for L’Uomo Vogue, an Italian men's version of Vogue.