Lina Bradford Has a Collection of Shoes You Won’t Believe Exists

Photography by Tatiana Katkova

“When you love something, you’re always going to take good care of it and cherish it.”

To describe Lina Bradford as a collector is an understatement. The New York-based DJ and talk show host’s apartment is stuffed to the gills with compilations of all kinds, from an army of Barbie dolls that she’s been holding on to since her childhood to decades’ worth of shoes — most of them high heels — by designers including her bestie Brian Atwood, Christian Louboutin and Vancouver’s John Fluevog.

So, what’s a better way to characterize this diva whose digital chat show is launching its third season this month — someone who owns a dozen of Vivienne Westwood’s Buffalo hats in an array of colours and snapped up a host of pieces from Alessandro Michele’s first Gucci collection without hesitation?

Photography by Tatiana Katkova. “I’ve always been a chameleon,” says Bradford, who was consistently named “Best dressed” during her school years. “fashion is about expression and fun — and how you feel from one day to the next.”
Photography by Tatiana Katkova. Talking about why the “alternative” aesthetic of vivienne Westwood resonated with her from an early age, Bradford says: “Being a new Yorker and growing up in Manhattan, it was synonymous. i was a young artist in the club scene, and everybody was rocking Westwood.”

“I’m an archivist,” Bradford says when discussing the diversity of her collections, adding that despite the volume, her space doesn’t feel “hoarder-y.” And of course she keeps her pieces organized and well maintained. “When you love something, you’re always going to take good care of it and cherish it.”

Photography by Tatiana Katkova
Photography by Tatiana Katkova. “He changed the game,” Bradford says about alessandro Michele’s star turn at gucci. naturally, she has a mix of the brand’s elevated Marmont loafers.

She has plenty to tend to, though. There’s the volume of vintage pieces — she owns upwards of 70 garments by Diane Freis, including the charming printed jumpsuit she donned for this shoot to coordinate with a pair of purple Atwood sandals — not to mention her staggering selection of So Kate styles from Louboutin.

Photography by Tatiana Katkova
Photography by Tatiana Katkova. Christian Louboutin’s cheerful chevron cork so Kate stilettos perfectly coexist with a stack of books about Barbie, one of Bradford’s style icons.

She began wearing the designer’s shoes after he invited her to his Parisian atelier two decades ago, when she was becoming a well-known name on the DJ circuit. Initially, Bradford wore the Pigalle design, but she then gave them all away to make room for her new obsession, the slender So Kate. “I love a severe heel,” she enthuses.

But the question begs to be asked: How does Bradford manage to make it through a night of partying while decked out in towering stilettos or prodigious platforms?

“People ask me that all the time,” she says, laughing, and goes on to credit her years as a trained dancer (ballet, modern and more) for allowing her to flex her feet for hours at a time. “I’m just so mentally and physically ready to be in a pump,” she says. “I have to prepare myself to be in a flat. That’s a chore!”

Photography by Tatiana Katkova. Hair and makeup, James Toribio for MAC.

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