What to buy the First Lady of Fashion… How Valerie Trierweiler settled on the perfect leather tote as a gift for Michelle Obama
21:40 GMT, 5 June 2012
She met the U.S. First Lady just last month but Valerie Trierweiler, the partner of French President Francois Hollande, was determined to forge a friendship with her before their meeting.
When the 47-year-old journalist learned that she was to meet Michelle Obama after her newly-elected boyfriend became President she decided to find her a special gift – a French handbag.
In giving the 'Cabas Vicky' handbag from Le Tanneur, priced at $584, to Mrs Obama, the bag's popularity has risen and forced staff to work overtime to meet increased demand.
Spoils: Valerie Trierweiler gave the U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama a Cabas Vicky handbag when the pair first met last month. The bag (above) was purchased from a French store called Le Tanneur
According to Voici.fr, the 'Vicky''s sales have hit the roof since the pair met at the G8 and Nato Summit held in Washington last month.
The handbag's manufacturing team, based out of a small factory in the Correze department of south-west France, have been forced to endure longer hours to keep us with its popularity.
Miss Trierweiler had put a considerable amount of effort into selecting the handbag, talking it over with the French President one evening at their flat in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, just across the Seine and a stone's throw from the Eiffel Tower.
The President suggested that his girlfriend should try to find something in a small business in Correze where he was mayor of the capital Tulle for seven years and an MP for 18 years.
Friends: Mrs Obama (right) is said to have been delighted with the gift Miss Trierweiler (left) gave her. They were photographed above at the Gary Corner Youth Center in Chicago, on May 20, after their initial meeting
'Try Le Tanneur at Bort-Les-Orgues,' he had apparently told her. 'You are bound to find something there.'
Miss Trierweiler purchased the bag for $614.
It was the perfect gift for Mrs Obama because she knew that the U.S. First Lady liked real French quality and would not be impressed by 'Le chic Parisian' or the flashy 'bling bling' favoured by the previous occupant of the Elysee Palace in France.
The bag itself was deep beige, hand woven in calf leather with zip fastener and olive polyester lining and finished with an engraved clasp.
Attractive: The bag presented was a deep beige colour that had been hand woven from calf leather. It had a zip fastener and polyester lining, shown left, and was finished with an engraved clasp
When Miss Trierweiler met Mrs Obama and presented her with the 'Vicky', the U.S. First Lady was clearly delighted.
The French First Lady herself chose to carry another one of Le Tanneur's models – a 'Nina' handbag priced at $383 – during her stay in the U.S.
Since the summit and Miss Trierweiler's public endorsement, sales of the 'Nina' have also skyrocketed.