NETIZENS in Singapore are jumping on the latest craze involving the ‘cheap’ purse used by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s wife at a White House greeting ceremony during the couple’s official visit to the United States earlier this week.
The demand for the blue purse with the dinosaur motif was so popular that it sold out within days of gaining widespread media attention.
Currently, those who wish to buy the purse will have to wait at least two months to get their hands on one.
The Art Faculty in Singapore, an online store that sells the purse and other artwork crafted by disabled and autistic students from the Pathlight School, said on its website that only pre-orders are available on its online system after stocks sold out.
The blue-colored purse, which was priced at SG$14.80 (about $11), gained worldwide attention after Madam Ho Ching was seen with it during a welcoming ceremony at the South Lawn of the White House during the visit.
The purse was made by Seetoh Sheng Jie, 19, a student with a keen interest in designs with prehistoric animals.
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Under the school’s program, students may receive royalties on sales of their designs and enhance their art skills.
Pathlight senior vice-principal Loy Sheau-Mei who posted a picture of Ho carrying the bag on Wednesday, said the school was pleasantly surprised and honored that she chose to bring the bag during the official visit.
“It gave such a great mileage for the artists on our Artist Development Programme and merchandise at The Art Faculty merchandise,” Loy was quoted as saying on Today.
“Ms Ho Ching is known to be very down to earth and practical and the fact that she carries a less than S$20 pouch to such a world stage event shows she is really confident and authentic.”
Loy said on Wednesday, the store sold 200 pouches, leading it to step up production. She said prior to the publicity, the store took more than four months to sell as many.
The official visit marked the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations between the U.S. and Singapore, an island nation of about 5.7 million people.