By Michelle Graff

As a fashion editor in the jewelry industry, I have seen my share of unexpected "celebrity" jewelry lines—from Paris Hilton to Playboy Bunnies—but this one might take the cake.

Flamboyant former First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos—known for spending millions on shoes, clothing and real estate while her countrymen lived in proverty—has launched a fashion-jewelry collection.

Marcos, 77, combined components of her personal costume-jewelry collection from around the world with Swarovski crystals to create the Imelda Collection, which includes bib necklaces, brooches and bracelets.

The announcement leaves me with so many questions, I don't even know where to begin. First of all, why jewelry and not footwear? The woman is known worldwide for the thousands of shoes she amassed during her husband's rule, making her at least somewhat of an expert in that area and creating at least a tenuous connection between the brand and the woman.

Second, why fashion jewelry? Again, Marcos' reputation as a diva with a taste for luxury would suggest that she may know a thing or two about diamonds and rubies (at one time, she was considered the world's largest collector of gemstones). But Swarovski crystals and vintage buttons? It's difficult for me to even imagine that she would wear the baubles she's hawking.

But beyond the branding issues, how ironic is it that the collection's Web site states that Marcos created the collection when she learned of the "helplessness and hopelessness of the Filipinos everywhere." Was the shoe horse not aware of this helplessness and hopelessness during the years she spent shopping while her husband ruled the country with marshall law? And how, exactly, will this new collection aid the Filipinos? Will $20 recycled brooches suddenly bring food to their tables and a stability to their government?

Kind of makes me wonder what we are going to see by Fidel Castro or Kim Jung Il?

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