By CASEY NEILL
A DANDENONG North man could have the world’s largest collection of tiny shoes.
Wilson Fernandez started collecting the miniatures during a trip to India about 10 years ago.
He now has more than 960 and is in the running for a Limca Book of Records title.
“I wanted to buy shoes for myself and the family.
“While we were at this shop I came across small leather sandals in miniature sizes that replicated the big ones exactly,” he said.
“They were called Kolhapuri Chappal. I was so amazed to look at the details and the craftsmanship of these miniatures.”
Mr Fernandez bought the jar filled with 12 shoes but forgot about them upon his return home.
“It was a year later my wife found those Kolhapuri Chappals still lying in the holiday bag,” he said.
“She handed it to me with a look and reminded me of the day I was so carried away with those miniature shoes.
“Over the years, during my business and pleasure travels to new places, I started looking for shoes that represent the countries and places I visited.”
Leather boots from Vienna were the second addition to his collection, and Japanese geta, Korean hwahye, Turkish sabahs, Indian kolhapuri, Pakistani mojari, Dutch klomps, moccasins, sports shoes and more have joined them.
Materials include plastic, wood, straw, metal, clay, fabric and paper and the smallest pair is about three by five millimetres in size.
“I love these miniatures because of their magnificent details, craftsmanship, intricate designs… ” Mr Fernandez said.
He displays displayed the shoes on his living room wall.
“The wall of great miniature shoes reminds me of the places visited, the best moments of those places, the culture, diversity, friendship and more,” he said.
A friend suggested Mr Fernandez contact the Limca Book of Records.
“I am sure if my collection stands out to be the highest, I may be the record holder for 2016,” he said.
“I have also contacted World Records Academy. Only time will tell me if I have the largest collection of miniature shoes in the world or not.
“Whatever may be the outcome of the records book I am truly excited about this unique hobby that keeps me happy and creative.”