- Tara, who has chosen to withhold her surname, from New York, US, has accumulated the designer shoes to satisfy her obsession with shoes.
- Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Gucci and Prada. You name it. Tara has it.
- The self-confessed shoe addicted has an impressive collection of over 110 pairs of designer shoes worth around £45 000 (almost R1 million), which takes up an entire room of her home.
Tara says that she has been obsessed with shoes ever since she was a little girl. She used to dress up in her mum's heels and it made her feel amazing.
"I have always loved fashion and shoes. I remember the moment I got my very first pair of heels when I was in high school. It was so special," the attorney says.
"Shoes are my one true love because they are forever, whereas, with clothes, your weight can go up and down and affect what clothes you can wear. But once you reach a certain age, your shoe size doesn't change and you can keep shoes forever as you know you aren't ever going to outgrow them."Tara with her shoe collection. All photos courtesy @esq_fashionista/ Caters News Agency/ Magazine Features
In her previous job, Tara had to go to court daily, meaning she was more restricted in her footwear and fashion choices.
However, since changing jobs and no longer attending court every day, Tara says her shoe obsession increased.
"I would say my shoe obsession became more serious after I became a corporate attorney because I had more freedom with how I could dress. I also started loving the Sex and The City series, which heightened my love for shoes even more as it was full of beautiful shoes," Tara says.
"I just completely fell even more in love than I already was. So, in 2008, during a work trip to Chicago, I went shopping in Barney's - a luxury department store - while I had some downtime. I bought myself my first ever pair of Manolo Blahnik heels."
Tara says this was when she started to really fall in love with designer shoes and she's been working on her collection and adding to it ever since.
Tara has also discovered a community of fellow shoe addicts on online forums focused on specific shoe designers.
"We have met up for shopping events at shops such as Barney's and I have even hosted a few. It is really fun," she says.
With Christian Louboutin being Tara's favourite shoe designer, she currently has around 40 pairs of the famous red soles.
"The whole experience of shopping at the Louboutin boutiques makes it amazing. The atmosphere, the service, the way the shoes are beautifully displayed and the amazing red carpets. It makes you feel great when you're shopping there," she says.
"I even met Christian Louboutin a few times at special events."
Her favourite and most expensive pair of shoes is a pair of Louboutin military-style boots that cost around £1 200 (about R25 000).
"I would say my second favourite designer is Manolo Blahnik. I have about 20 pairs of those. They're amazing and such classics. My other favourites in my collection are Gucci, Prada and Miu Miu," she says.
"I would say that 95 per cent of my collection are heels as I rarely wear flats."
Tara is always on the lookout for a new pair of shoes and keeping up to date as new collections are being released.
"To help me stay on top of what is being released, I have built amazing relationships with sales associates. They send me pictures and let me know what is coming out to not miss out," Tara says.
"I have been working with some of them for around 15 years, so they have really gotten to know my style. So they send them over to me and ask if I want them to hold my size so that I can secure the pairs that I really want. I have sales associates all over the world, in England, Ireland, across Europe and in various places around the US too."
Tara buys a new pair every month.
When she lived in her old house, storage became a real issue as her collection continued to grow.
So, having space for all her shoes was a priority when she searched for a new home.
"I needed an extra bedroom from my shoes. When I moved into the new house, I designed my closet around my shoe collection. However, I am starting to run out of room again for my ever-growing collection. I am going to redesign the closet so that it is bigger," she says.
"I am very fortunate I can buy all of these shoes and I am really proud of my collection, which I have been working on for around 15 years. My collection is an investment, and I have worn almost all of the pairs of shoes that I own. There are only a couple of pairs that I haven't worn yet."