Carla Bruni-endorsed African bags hit Paris markets

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London, Dec 22 (ANI): French first lady Carla Bruni has been endorsing bags made in a South African township for helping a women's co-operative, which are currently being sold in Paris.

Bruni's promotional move for the South Africans bags comes days after she took legal action against a bag-making company in the Indian Ocean island of Reunion, selling a bag featuring a nude picture of her.

However, Bruni on her visit to Khayelitsha, on the edge of Cape Town, was presented with a cotton and hessian-stitched bag in the six colours of the South African flag.The former model and singer was accompanying her husband Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President, on a trip to Cape Town to see the then President, Thabo Mbeki, when she accepted an invitation to look around the premises.

Sophumelela co-operative, which means "We will succeed" in the local Xhosa language, made the bag.

The co-operative was set up with the help of Township Patterns, which assists the women with marketing, product design and administration.

After Bruni carried the bag with her, the co-operative could pursuade a Paris fashion boutique called Colette to sell the bags, which retail at 90 Euros.

Nicknamed the "Carla", only 421 pieces have been made, just under half of which have been exported.

"She is a beautiful lady, a nice woman and very friendly," Times Online quoted Patricia Rwayimani, 29, the chairwoman of the co-operative, as saying.

Rwayimani said that they were excited by the "Carla" being on sale in Paris.

"I am overwhelmed that these are being sold in France. To think Ms Bruni is walking around with one of our handbags is a big thrill," she said. (ANI)

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