Friday, March 28, 2008
The Culture of Designer Shoes--Imelda Marcos-The Most Famous Shoe Collector of all time
Imelda Marcos in her shoe museum
Any real Shoe Maven would be remiss if she didn’t acknowledge the most infamous shoe collector of the 20th Century, Imelda Marcos, former first lady of the Philippines and widow of the late exiled president, Ferdinand Marcos.
Whatever your politics concerning the Marcos’ (I’m speaking to those who remember the political turmoil of the excessive 1980’s) one thing remains clear: Mrs. Marcos was a shoe diva to be remembered. So much so, that the media made mention of her ‘thousands of pairs of shoes’ on a regular basis.
Indeed, Mrs. Marcos traveled the world regularly acquiring the perfect shoe to accentuate her extensive wardrobe. Noted names such as Ferragamo, Givenchy, and Chanel adorned her famous size 8 ½ feet. Constantly in the public eye, (even through political upheaval) she never missed a fashionable beat. Mrs. Marcos was clearly drawn to all things beautiful and in her own words describes the social culture of her people. “Filipinos don’t wallow in what is miserable and ugly. They recycle the bad into things of beauty.”1
Still strikingly beautiful at the age of 77, Mrs. Marcos is the founder of the Marikina City Footwear Museum in Manila, where hundreds of the shoes she wore during her reign as first lady are on display. Officials at the Museum are hoping to attract even more tourism to what is already known as the “shoe capital of the Philippines.”2
The Marikina district employs around 200,000 people for the manufacturing of shoes and has roads featuring such street names as Sandal Street and Slipper Street.3
Mrs. Marcos has undoubtedly left her indelible mark on her country, albeit the world. A woman of culture, style, beauty, and grace, Fa’Shoe’Nista! acknowledges the fashion sense of Imelda Marcos, ultimate Shoe Maven of the 20th Century.
1. BBC News/ASIA-PACIFIC – Homage to Imelda’s shoes; article, February 16, 2001.
In her own words:
“What’s wrong with shoes? I collected them because it was like a symbol of thanksgiving and love.”—Associated Press article, in The Eye, November 1997
“I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes; I had one thousand and sixty.”—1987
From the Wit and Wisdom of Imelda Marcos–www. thewilyfilipino.com.