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Miniature footwear collection sees Aussie Indian in Limca Book of Records
How many pairs of shoes do you own? Ladies, come on be honest…
A recent study found that the average is about 20 pairs.
Well, how about 1016?
That’s the exact number of shoes owned by Victoria’s Wilson Fernandez, and although it is probably a smaller collection than that of Imelda Marcos, it is a record.
You see, Wilson’s collection is made up of miniature shoes – all displayed on the walls at his home.
For this, he has found himself a spot in India’s Limca Book of Records.
Hailed by friends and family as “an artistic display of teensy-weensy shoes”, “a wall of great miniature shoes”, “footsteps of the world ” and “Will’s wall of great miniature shoes”, the achievement has been more than ten years in the making.
“My unique and artistic wall display of the ‘largest collection of miniature shoes’ features shoes from around the globe,” Fernandez told Indian Link. “I have displayed the shoes artistically in a floral art format.”
The shoes come in all shapes, forms, patterns and designs, representing the countries they were collected from.
The collection includes Ugg boots, Dutch Klomps, Japanese Geta, Korean Hwahye, Turkish Sabahs, Indian Kolhapuri, Converse shoes, Santa’s Shoes and many others. The largest shoe is 18.5 cm and the smallest just 0.25 cm.
It was during a trip to India in 2004 that Fernandez first developed an interest in miniature shoes.
While at a shoe shop, he came across tiny leather sandals in miniature size, perfectly replicating their larger counterparts.
“Amazed by the detail and craftsmanship of the miniatures, I bought 12 pairs.”
During his business travels and holidays, Fernandez began to seek out miniature shoes that represented the countries and places he visited, sourcing them from craft markets, airports, antique shops and gift stores.
“My wall of great miniature shoes reminds me of the places I have visited, the best moments in those places, the culture, diversity, friendship and more,” Fernandez says.
Family members contributed new pairs as gifts and now Fernandez proudly owns miniature shoes made from various raw materials like leather, vinyl, rubber, plastic, wood, straw, metal, ceramic, clay, fabric and paper.
“Some are also studded with precious stones and gems on metal shoes,” he says.
Fernandez believes his collection could also be the world’s largest collection of tiny shoes and now hopes that the World Records Academy recognises his unique collection, which is dedicated to his late mother, “as a tribute for the love, encouragement, support and for making me the person that I am today”.
“I had mixed feelings when the record news came through,” Fernandez says. “It is a great honour to achieve this award. I just couldn’t believe it. At the same time, my heart shattered as my dearest mum passed away and I didn’t get the opportunity to share the joy of this achievement with her.”
Fernandez said his dad was proud of the award, and thanked the family and friends who’d helped him to achieve “this hallmark of my life”.
“Whatever the outcome of the records book, I am truly excited about this unique hobby that keeps me happy and creative.”