Destinations Magazine

Jacques is Back

By Stizzard
Jacques is back A leap back to the future

HE IS 82 years old, and his presidency is hardly a glorious memory. It was on his watch that France’s competitive position sharply declined. His popularity sank to 16% during his penultimate year in office. But seven years on, Jacques Chirac has emerged as an improbable icon of retro taste and a figure of public affection.

Bizarre as it seems, images of Mr Chirac in his younger days have become a cult fashion item. T-shirts and tote bags display the former president as the embodiment of insouciant cool: drawing on a cigarette, lounging on a sofa, or leaping nonchalantly over a ticket barrier in the Metro. Captions, in English, include “Chill” or “French touch”. There is a page on Tumblr, a social-media hub, devoted to vintage photos of the career politician’s “suave gangsterism”. Grazia, a fashion magazine, recently called him a French Cary Grant. “Chirac, the hipster” wrote Les InrocKuptibles, a left-leaning style magazine, has made a “sensational comeback in the form of a fashion icon”.

Five years after leaving office, Mr Chirac…

The Economist: Europe

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