Thursday, July 9, 2009

Michelle Gets a $6000 Purse

While I wouldn't say that the story of Michelle Obama's expensive alligator purse rises to the level of a scandal (much less a crisis), I have to say I'm glad to see it being reported:

Earlier this week (while strolling the wooded landscape outside of Moscow), she carried a sexy black clutch, which Italian luxury house VBH boasts is their shiny black alligator manila bag - with a retail sticker price of $5,950.

Hmmm.... Analyzing this is going to be complicated, I'm afraid, as there are a variety of competing political and cultural factors at play. I don't know which should be a greater concern -- the price of the bag, or its animal origin. Six grand is a lot to pay for a purse, but considering that the president gets in more trouble for swatting a fly than for profligate spending, I'd say that enabling the slaughtering and skinning of alligators should be considered more serious than the amount on the store price tag.

It does seem there is a double standard here. Sarah Palin got into huge trouble over the alleged cost of some clothes purchased during the last campaign while the nation was entering a recession, and Condoleezza Rice was excoriated for buying an expensive pair of shoes in New York when people were dealing with Katrina in New Orleans.

Not to get off track here, but has there ever been a time when someone wasn't hurting or poor?

But aside from that, there seems to be another issue: a credibility gap between the White House and the purse manufacturer:

The White House flatly denies that Obama bought such a high-priced accessory, and says that she was carrying a patent clutch that retails for $875.

The First Lady, who has impressed with her chic, affordable style sense, embracing Everywoman brands like Gap and J.Crew, flashed the shiny handheld while walking with her husband, President Barack Obama, during their Monday meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his wife Svetlana.

Told that Obama's office denied the bag was the high-end VBH clutch, Kelly Vitko, a rep for the company replied, "It's definitely ours."

Whoaooohhh there!

I'd say VBH and Kelly Vitko better be careful or they might soon learn that they are about to be audited by the IRS (... by people who don't file returns and who don't get audited, of course).


Red July 9, 2009 at 3:31 PM  

Can we call this Croco-gate?

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