Trump picks handbag designer for South Africa envoy post

Washington, Nov 15 (IANS): US President Donald Trump has nominated a handbag designer to be the next American ambassador to South Africa.

Lana Marks, a Florida resident and member of Trump's exclusive Mar-a-Lago resort, was born and raised in South Africa, where she attended the University of the Witwatersrand and the
Institute of Personnel Management in Johannesburg, the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.

Marks is known for luxury handbags in exotic animal skins, such as ostrich and alligator, with prices that can hover above $19,000, CNN reported.

One of her more expensive creations, a $400,000 clutch, has been carried on the red carpet.

The designer's website features photos of celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston carrying her goods and says her accessories have become a favourite among "royalty and entertainment style makers".

Described by the Palm Beach Daily as "like Trump, a relentless self-promoter", Marks speaks Afrikaans and Xhosa, two of South Africa's languages, according to the White House.

For Mar-a-Lago, board members provide a minimum annual gift of $10,000 per individual member, $20,000 per Leadership Circle member and $25,000 per corporation.

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