Federal politicians are known for carrying around a bag of platform priorities and party promises. But a Versace bag?
New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh had Canadians all atwitter after he was spotted in Toronto carrying what looked to be either a Versace-branded tote bag or a shopping bag from the fashion company. Toronto boasts two Versace retail locations including one in ritzy Yorkville. The Milanese company hasn’t yet penetrated the Ottawa market.
The Instagram account of wearecanadaproud kicked off the social media melee with an image three days ago of Singh and his carryall outside the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Toronto. The caption: “Champagne socialist Jagmeet Singh spotted with a Versace tote bag yesterday.”
The fairly innocuous comment kicked off a slew of comments referencing communism and hypocrisy in roughly equal measure, although the opposing view was summed up by one user who said: “I’m not at all about NDP or Singh. But he’s allowed to buy whatever he likes. He’s allowed to make a good living doing what he does even though people don’t all agree with his views.”
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Another comment mentioned “the Rolex socialist,” an apparent reference to a 2014 photograph of Singh that was part of a campaign to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, coincidentally the location of the other Toronto Versace store.
The photo is black and white, save for the watch, a Rolex, which shimmers in gold. According to a 2018 profile of Singh in Toronto Life, he actually owns two Rolex models: an Oyster Perpetual Datejust and a Submariner. The price of the watches ranges anywhere from about $6,000 to more than $50,000, although he told Toronto Life that both were gifts.
It’s unclear if Singh was staying at the Sheraton, but it’s worth noting that the hotel offers rooms from $250 a night for a one-night stay this Thursday. The nearby Shangri-La starts at $683 while the Park Hyatt — walking distance from Versace’s Yorkville location — has rooms from $713.
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