François Fillon


SUIT FLAP: Beleaguered French presidential candidate François Fillon made headlines again on Sunday, but this time with allegations of a sartorial nature.

The politician, who represents the right-wing Les Républicains party, is the protagonist of a feature story in Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper, whose headline reads: “Qui a payé les costumes de François Fillon?” (or “Who paid for François Fillon’s suits?”).

According to the article, Fillon has long been a client of the tony men’s wear maker Arnys, as were François Mitterrand, Andy Warhol, François Truffot and Marcello Mastroianni before him. (Arnys since 2012 has been owned by LVMH Möet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which applied the men’s firm’s expertise into Berluti’s expansion drive.)

“But who pays for his made-to-measure suits, blazers and trousers? According to our information, since 2012, the former prime minister was gifted almost 48,500 euros [or $51,773 at current exchange] of clothing. Of that, 35,500 euros [or $37,895] seemed to have been paid in cash.”

The paper wrote that on Feb. 20 two suits were paid for by a friend with a check for 13,000 euros, or $13,877.

The report about the pricy gifts to Fillon — a vocal proponent of French people making “sacrifices” — was being picked up and circulated wildly by other French media by Sunday afternoon.

The conservative candidate has been facing numerous scandals. Earlier this month it was reported he had not declared a 50,000 euro, or $53,374, loan from a friend. Making an even bigger splash was the allegation that Fillon had paid his wife hundreds of thousands of euros from public funding for fake jobs. He is meant to be heard on Wednesday by a French judge.

Citizens of France go to the polls on April 23 for the first stage of a two-round vote for their next president.

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