A love affair with shoes
A Californian collector smashes world records for collecting with a series of shoe-related trinkets, furniture and clothing that amounts to 16,400 items of footwear.
Along with the sadness and turmoil of a divorce often comes a period of change. Finding new hobbies, keeping oneself busy, perhaps investing in a new gadget if you’re a guy and a new hairdo if you’re a gal. But for Californian-based Darlene Flynn, changing her name or redecorating her house was not enough. Rather, the determined divorcee embarked on a mission, with shoes – her biggest passion – at heart.
Now fondly known as the ‘Shoe Lady’, Darlene set off on a shoe-based love affair when her marriage ended 11 years ago. Since then, she has collected 16,400 shoe-related trinkets. And not just small knick knacks or ornaments. Darlene Flynn proudly owns a collection of shoe-shaped furniture, shoe-themed art, soap, phones, porcelain and teapots.
And if you thought it was just interior decoration the footwear fanatic was interested in, think again. Flynn also enjoys wearing shoe-adorned clothing that she has also collected over the years.
It’s perhaps the thousands of miniature shoe figurines that catapulted her into the spotlight, though. Counting 7,765 shoe-related items in her home Darlene smashed any related world record in 2006.
Not happy with her lot of 7,765 items, Flynn has carried on collecting and has doubled her shoe stash to a whopping 16,400 pieces. Beating her own record has set the collector back the tidy sum of roughly $500,000 (£316,000) in the process, however.
The press interest in Darlene’s shoe museum has cost the Californian quite a bit of time, too. It took Flynn a full two weeks to remove each item from the momentous glass cabinet in order to put them out for display and picture taking.
So, does Darlene Flynn’s collection contain some exclusive designer pairs or luxe one-off heels? Apparently not. Rather than splashing the cash on Christian Louboutin or Manolo Blahnik sky scrapers, Flynn’s mantra seems to be the more the merrier. One thing’s for sure, if she keeps collecting the footwear she’ll need a bigger house. And that’s when the £316,000 already spent will sure come in handy.
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