Imelda Marcos: A Girl Can Never have too Many Shoes!

Imelda Marcos: A Girl Can Never have too Many Shoes!

Imelda Marcos : First Lady of Shoes – the fifth estate
Imelda Marcos : First Lady of Shoes – the fifth estate

The first lady of the Philippines for more than two decades, Imelda Marcos was renowned for her opulent lifestyle – particularly for her obsession with shoes. In fact, she had around 3,000 pairs in her larger-than-average closet, many of which are now on display in their own museum!

For most women, owning thousands of pairs of shoes is the stuff that dreams are made of, since they are an essential part of your outfit and the staple of any respectable shopping trip.

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As the first lady of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986, Marcos must have bought, on average, 142 pairs of shoes a year – which is an amazing tally by anyone’s standards.

Early life

Born in Manila in 1929, she was interested in politics from an early age and ran for student council president at St Paul’s College in 1951, while studying for her Bachelor of Science in Education. She met Ferdinand Marcos, the future president, at the Philippine Congress on 6th April 1954.

  The shoe's on the other foot

He appreciated her beauty and her aristocratic background, and they married on 1st May at the San Miguel Pro-Cathedral in Manila, after a whirlwind romance.

Her husband was president of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986, including ruling under martial law from 1972 until 1981. Forced from office, he fled the country with his family in 1986.

Shoe extravaganza!

After their departure, protesters stormed Malacanang Palace and were amazed to discover the true extent of Imelda’s extravagance, as more than 2,700 pairs of shoes had been left in her wardrobe!

She was later quoted as saying that the protesters had been searching for “skeletons in the closet”, but they had found only “beautiful shoes”.

Three decades later, around 800 pairs of Imelda’s famous shoe collection are on display at the Shoe Museum in the city of Marikina. The museum manager, Gina Romero, says they are a mixture of imported and local brands, including many well-known designer names such as Chanel, Ferragamo, Charles Jourdan, Givenchy, Christian Dior and Bally.

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There are all types of shoes – high heels, flat heels, boots, sandals and slippers. Many of them are decorated with bling and are in pristine condition. The total value of the collection has been hard to estimate, although on average, the imported shoes would have cost at least $100 a pair, with the local shoes costing around $11 a pair.

Imelda’s favourite pair was said to be black pumps with gold sparkles that were made by Italian shoemaker Beltrami. She liked them so much, she had ordered several more identical pairs. During her husband’s rule, Imelda was given around 10 pairs of shoes a week by local manufacturers.

Ferdinand Marcos died on 28th September 1989, at the age of 72. Imelda later returned to the Philippines to serve four terms as a congresswoman in the House of Representatives. Now aged 88, she is still active in politics and can often be found on the campaign trail for family members.

  Do You Have An Imelda Marcos Working In Your Office?

Meanwhile, visitors continue to find the shoes that made Imelda famous a massive source of fascination, as they sit in their sturdy display cabinets in the unique museum.

We all enjoy replenishing our wardrobes, but even though buying new clothes and accessories is a pleasure, it would be hard to collect 3,000 pairs of shoes! Whether you shop online or in retail stores, Psydro would like to hear from you.

Our customer reviews platform gives you the chance to leave feedback regarding your fashion shopping experiences. Click here, and we’ll walk you through the process!

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