'Fashion icon' Theresa May fills David Cameron's shoes in more ways than one

British Home Secretary Theresa May arriving in Downing Street in central London on June 27, 2016.
British Home Secretary Theresa May arriving in Downing Street in central London on June 27, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS
British Conservative party leadership candidate Theresa May (right) arriveing at the Palace of Westminster in London on July 7, 2016.
British Conservative party leadership candidate Theresa May (right) arriveing at the Palace of Westminster in London on July 7, 2016.PHOTO: AFP
British Home Secretary Theresa May leaving Downing Street after attending a Cabinet meeting in London on July 5, 2016.
British Home Secretary Theresa May leaving Downing Street after attending a Cabinet meeting in London on July 5, 2016.PHOTO: EPA
Theresa May leaves after a cabinet meeting at number 10 Downing Street in London on July 12, 2016.
Theresa May leaves after a cabinet meeting at number 10 Downing Street in London on July 12, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

The woman who is set to fill David Cameron's shoes has quite a collection of footwear herself.

Aside from her upfront and unapologetic brand of politics, incoming British Prime Minister Theresa May has drawn quite a following for her bold fashion statements.

The Daily Mail newspaper described the 59-year-old as the "Imelda Marcos of British politics", owing to an apparent shoe obsession that has seen her attend functions wearing everything from sparkling gold wellies to snakeskin court shoes.

It started in 2002 when Mrs May donned a pair of leopard print high-heels to a Tory party conference.

Party members, media and the public certainly took notice, with some praising her for refusing to blend into British Parliament's typically dour and understated dress style.

Mrs May famously stands by her colourful footwear, having described her eclectic choices as a good way to kickstart conversations.

She said: "I have no regrets (about being famous for my shoes). The good thing is that they are often an icebreaker."

Fond of a flamboyant Vivienne Westwood suit, Mrs May wore a pair of thigh-high patent boots - with a bright overcoat to boot - to greet the Queen in March last year.

Although British royalty did not seem to mind, some fashion writers questioned the appropriateness and comfort of such attire for a ceremonial greeting.

Mrs May also sported similar patent over-the-knee boots to greet South Korean President Park Geun Hye during her state visit in 2013.

At a party conference last year, she showcased Russell & Bromley brogues with jewel-studded heels.

Mrs May has her own fashion fan club. In February last year, a supporter at a fund-raising ball reportedly splashed out a cool £17,500 (S$31,000) to go on a shoe-shopping mission with her.

The Home Secretary has even suggested that her shoe-sense inspired a woman to enter politics.

She said: "I was in the Commons recently and saw a young lady wearing a nice pair of shoes. I said I liked them and she said my shoes were the reason she became involved in politics."