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Imelda Marcos’s Old Shoes Are Ruined

Photo: JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images

When she and her husband fled the Philippines in 1986 at the culmination of the People Power Revolution, Imelda Marcos left behind over 1,200 pairs of shoes. After appearing in an exhibition organized by the country’s new government, the infamous footwear was returned to the Presidential Palace, where the collection was evidently stored “without protection” — not even a little moth ball. Two years ago, when Palace workers noticed mold and other damage, the former first lady’s shoes and other left-behind clothes and accessories were moved to the country’s National Museum in Manila for safe safer keeping.

According to a report in the Guardian, the museum staff promptly forgot the contents of the boxes, leaving them in a leaky fourth-floor storeroom. And after a tropical storm last month, the room flooded. When the staff eventually discovered the flooding, Marcos’s shoes were floating around like high-fashion rubber ducks. Journalists observing the process report seeing “a badly tattered box with damaged and soiled leather bags and designer shoes bulging out. Termites had damaged the heel and sole of a white Pierre Cardin shoe. Other shoes had been warped out of shape or were stained.” Many items are believed to be beyond repair; Imelda likely won’t mind, though, because she’s evidently bought some new pairs. Also, we hear that fashionable folk like herself wear Uggs now.