Imelda Marcos launches jewelry collection

(AP) MANILA, Philippines: Imelda Marcos — wife of the late Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos — launched a jewelry line on Saturday which she described as “both worthless and priceless,” but would entitle the buyer to a piece of the glamorous former first lady.

Called The Imelda Collection, it includes earrings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches, pins, combs and even cuff links made from a combination of glass beads, gemstones and gold-plated chains.

Many of them feature images of butterflies and shoes, trademarks of the 77-year-old widow. During her heyday at the height of power of her late husband, Imelda was called the “iron butterfly” for her ability to get her own way.

Following her husband’s ouster in a popular revolution in 1986, she was found to have collected 1,220 pairs of size 8 shoes.

Speaking to a crowd of mostly women at the seaside Philippine Plaza Hotel, she described the collection as “both worthless and priceless.”

“Worthless because it comes from worthless materials, but it is priceless because it is the creativity that’s coming from the soul of human beings to bring out what is beautiful and what is God in them,” she said.

Marcos, known for her shopping sprees abroad while her countrymen wallowed in poverty, said the one-of-a-kind pieces came from her old accessories and clothes, mixed with newly bought stones and other materials.

She said the idea for the collection came from her 23-year-old grandson, Martin “Borgy” Manotoc.

Each piece carries a message from Imelda saying the item is “guaranteed to tarnish, fall apart, maybe even disintegrate. When this happens, just be Imeldific! Be ingenious and find ways to put it together.”

Many of the items were recycled from things Marcos picked up on her travels, while others were fashioned from items the government failed to seize after the family’s fall from power.

Their prices, however, were not for ordinary Filipinos. A hairpin made of olive jade, fresh water pearls, antique French glass, Austrian crystals and woven glass beads with white gold-plated chain was priced at 5,800 pesos (US$116, €91), about half a month’s salary for an office employee.

A necklace made from a vintage brooch, glass beads, cat’s eye gem stone, fresh water pearls, orange calcite and ribbons cost 15,600 (US$312, €244).

Liza Ilarde, editor of JetSet, a travel and lifestyle magazine, said the collection was “in tune” with the current trend in accessory design of mixing semiprecious stones with found objects.

“Personally, some of the pieces are not to my taste although, I’m sure if I look hard enough, I can find something that I’ll like,” she said.

Astrud Crisologo picked up a 7,000 peso (US$140, €110), gemstone-ringed brooch with a picture of a young Imelda “to wear and to keep.” She said she would have paid more for it.

“She’s an icon and I love her. I have to own a piece of her. This is a piece of history. It’s pop culture,” she said.

(Daphne Oseña captured the event and uploaded the photos in her flickr page)


Find more like this: Features


  1. […] Is that Madame we see? We’re telling you, this woman still commands attention. She’s works on a different plane. So altogether now, ‘mass follows class’ — and remember not that other way around. (Just in case you didn’t get it, we’ll quote Borat Sagdiyev (pause) NOT! Above is New Yorker magazine’s deliberately oversimplified guide to who falls where on their taste hierarchies. Caption reads ‘Imelda Marcos launches jewelry line‘. […]

  2. OPP says:

    Why the h*** were they allowed to return to the country and hold office.

    I don’t understand.

    I think there should be a cumpolsory intensive gov and politics class for everyone before they are given the right to vote.

  3. […] year, Marcos launched “The Imelda Collection” — a jewelry line she described as “both worthless and priceless,” made from […]

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