An avid US collector brings her love of shoes to Hong Kong
Darlene Flynn should know the answer to an old puzzle: 'Why do women always need more shoes?'
The American is the Guinness record holder for owning the most shoe-related items in the world. 'I love my shoe collection. There are more than 15,000 shoes in my home in California. From wall to ceiling I decorate it with shoes,' Flynn said. 'I spend time admiring them every day.'
During her first-ever visit to Hong Kong, Flynn brought along 1,000 items from her collection. They included miniature shoes showcased at the All About Shoes exhibition, which continues until May 20 at Telford Plaza in Kowloon Bay.
Flynn started her shoe collection 10 years ago. In 2006, she became the Guinness record holder with her collection of 7,756 shoe-related items. It has since grown to 15,665 items - and counting.
'I saw my cousin Karen's shoe collection at a Halloween party in October 2000,' she recalled. 'I fell in love with it and started looking for shoes everywhere. I didn't know it was a 'thing', but I realised I had quite a few things already without even knowing there was such a thing as collecting shoes.'
Flynn is an accountant but now focuses on her shoe collection.
'I have started designing my own line of miniature shoes,' she said. 'I hope to launch the first few later this year.
'The first one will be a 'My Angel' shoe for Dar's Shoe Heaven. The second one will be a Butterfly shoe, drawn by my friend's sister, Brenda, who died of lung cancer. It's going to be in memory of her and all others who died of cancer.
'I am also working on country-themed shoes, where part of the proceeds will be going towards buying real shoes for orphans in different countries.'