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Inside Kelli Zink's Candle-Lit Shoe Shrine

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Chicago's most vocal TV personality in the pop culture arena, Kelli Zink is also a huge shoe collector. She's made name for herself giving the most gossip-worthy intelligence airtime on CelebTV and letting the public know the new/now/next for trendy things to do around the city.


For this very special interview, Kelli opens up her shoe closet, lit with candles, and poses in a silk robe with her favorite shoes in a very art-y album cover aesthetic. All Photos: James Atkins Photography

"When I'm not doing anything else, I'm at home in my robe and my Nike's." —Kelli Zink Racked: If you could be any shoe, which shoe would it be?
Kelli Zink: A nude Christian Loubouton pump—I'd have to be the most current season. Both men and women think its sexy and it's that style that has a je ne sais quoi. Everyone needs it.

R: Were there any influential shoes from your childhood?
K.Z.: My parents weren't big on fashion because I grew up in a small town in Michigan, but the ones I can remember are a pair of red Converse low tops. I remember saving up for them, and being so proud that I wore them everywhere.

R: What was your favorite shoe moment?
K.Z.: Interviewing Brian Atwood. I was so entranced with him and just staring at his lips. He said he loved how my dress matched his shoes that I was wearing.

R: Christian Louboutins or Manolos?
KZ: Louboutins.

R: Nicholas Kirkwood or Brian Atwood?
K.Z.: Brian Atwood.

R: Atwood or Loubs?
K:Z.: Brian Atwood.

R: You consider yourself a collector and the shoes we see right now, these are just current season and A-list pairs. How many pairs of shoes do you own, and what would you value your collection at?
K.Z.: I'm not sure exactly but I'd have to say about 350 pairs and if I ever lost my job I'd be able to live for a short while on the worth of my shoes.

R: You lead a pretty hectic lifestyle between all your appearances on national and local tv and on-site appearances for networks like CNN, MSNBC and FOX. What shoes do you wear on a regular day jetting back and forth across the city?
K.Z.: In the past it's been my biggest pet peve to see women wear sneakers with leggings and they change into heels when they get there. I wear Dunks or Jordans all day—I wear them everywhere—it's cute and it just makes sense. And nowadays with brands like Isabel Marant making sneakers you can be comfortable and not look you live in the 90s. Heels for running around every day—it's not practical. Like, the whole Carrie Bradshaw thing; women look stupid running around town like that, especially in Chicago you can't because of the subway grates.
· All Shoe Week Coverage [Racked]
· Your Daily Dose of Zink [Official Blog]