France’s new president Emmanuel Macron wore a suit costing a modest 450 euros (just under $500) for his inauguration on Sunday, in an apparent attempt to dissociate himself from “bling-bling” politics.The fact that Macron’s staff revealed the cost of the dark suit, and that his wife Brigitte’s lavender Louis Vuitton outfit was loaned by the fashion house, was in itself noteworthy.
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Once the favourite, Macron’s conservative rival Francois Fillon became entangled during the election campaign in financial scandals that included the gift from a wealthy businessman of two tailor-made suits worth about 13,000 euros.With opinion polls showing honesty is among the top qualities desired in a president by French voters fed up with such scandals, Macron’s choice of clothing also seemed to send a signal that he would be different from his predecessors.
Conservative former president Nicolas Sarkozy, who led France from 2007 to 2012, was nicknamed “President Bling-Bling” for his flashy lifestyle. Macron’s direct predecessor Francois Hollande, a self-styled “Normal President”, meanwhile came under fire for paying nearly 10,000 euros a month to his hairdresser.