MANILA, Philippines - Imelda Marcos - notorious for her extensive shoe
collection and eye-popping jewels accrued under her husband's
dictatorship - is launching a jewelry collection using castoffs from her
wardrobe and, she claims, flea market finds.
Marcos, known for her shopping trips to ritzy shops in New York while the
country wallowed in poverty, says she made the pieces from her old accessories
and clothes, mixed with newly bought stones and other materials.
Her daughter, Rep. Imee
Marcos, said that unknown to many people, her mother shops for trinkets and
accessories at flea markets, and keeps earrings with a missing pair or brooches
that have some missing stones.
Former Philippine First Lady Meld Marcos, wearing her
collection of jewelry she made herself, talks to the media during a break
in her own photo shoot for a brochure to launch her own fashion
accessories called 'The Imelda Collection' at a posh hotel in Manila
Monday Nov. 6, 2006. [AP]
Using a glue gun, scissors or pliers, her mother "can combine them with her
vintage items in a way that comes out beautiful," Imee Marcos told journalists
Monday during a promotional photo shoot for "The Imelda Collection," which is to
be launched Nov. 18 in Manila.
The 77-year-old widow of Ferdinand Marcos reclined on a divan in the seaside
garden of a Manila hotel to pose for photos Monday, modeling several chunky
necklaces, rings and bracelet sets for a brochure of the collection.
Pointing to a set of matching earrings and brooch made of blue imitation
tiger eye stone she was wearing, she told reporters, "This thing I wear now is
something I recycled."
She said the jewelry collection was the idea of her grandson, Martin "Borgy"
Manotoc, who told her, "You are creating beautiful things, like jewels from
The first designs are only for jewelry and will "not yet" include shoes, her
daughter said. But an aide said there are plans to expand the collection to
include shoes, clothes and possibly furniture.
Describing how the collection came to be, the former first lady recalled,
"One day my grandson came to me and said, `Mama Meldy, I would like to use your
collection to tell the world the real Imelda and the spirit of my grandma.'"
"What we are selling is not something valuable, but ... it is something
invaluable because it's only beauty that can feed the spirit," she said.
Marcos said the items would be inexpensive, costing from US$20 to US$100. But
her daughter said prices and details about the collection are still being ironed
"The accessories are just an excuse. It's just a visual and tactile reminder
of this attitude she wishes to share, the Imelda spirit, the Imelda way and
that's what it will represent," Imee Marcos said.
The jewelry collection is a far cry from the dozens of suitcases of genuine
diamond tiaras, ruby brooches, emerald necklaces and other jewels the government
confiscated from Marcos and which officials plan to auction off.
The Marcoses have been accused of amassing ill-gotten wealth and were driven
out of the presidential palace by a military-backed nonviolent "people power"
uprising in 1986. The ousted strongman died in exile in Hawaii three years
The government has recovered about US$1.6 billion in cash and assets from the
Marcoses and their associates, including Swiss bank deposits now worth about
Ricardo Abcede, a member of a commission recovering the
Marcoses' wealth, said about $4.4 billion worth of assets are tied up in
criminal and civil cases in the Philippines. The total amount of the Marcoses'
assets abroad is unknown.