SINGAPORE Forget the Birkin and 2.55. This season’s It-bag is a S$14.80 ($10) dinosaur-printed clutch designed by a 19-year-old Singaporean, and it’s all thanks to prime minister Lee Hsien Loong’s wife, Ho Ching.
Ho who is currently accompanying Lee on his state visit to the White House, was photographed on Tuesday carrying the blue fabric clutch while being escorted by FLOTUS Michelle Obama.
The clutch which contrasted against her Peranakan-inspired two-piece suit, became a talking point when local media outlets realised that it was designed by Singaporean student, Seetoh Sheng Jie. Seetoh is a student at the Pathlight School, Singapore’s first autism-focused school.
According to the site that’s currently retailing the clutch, “Dino Silhouettes” is made of denim and the dinosaur print was illustrated by Seetoh from his own knowledge about the prehistoric reptiles. Seetoh’s design is part of the school’s Artist Development Programme, which was formed in 2011. The mentoring programme allows professional artists to work with Pathlight’s students to nurture their creative talents and showcase their work.
After Ho’s picture went viral, the clutch started selling like hotcakes. A spokesperson for The Art Faculty, the store managed by Pathlight told Today: “We’ve sold 200 pouches today, and counting… We are running low on stock for Dino, we have activated more to be produced.”
Ho is an adviser to the Autism Resource Centre (ARC) in Singapore, which helped set up Pathlight. Local newspapers reported that Ho came across the clutch on Saturday during an ARC fundraising event.