Monday, Aug. 10, 2009

Move Over, Bill Cosby

Don't call it a sweater. It's actually a chompa: a traditional, hand-knit pullover of alpaca wool considered refined among the indigenous people of Bolivia — such as the country's President, Evo Morales. The leftist leader is clearly not the business-suit type, says one analyst: "I don't see him wearing Armani suits, something very common among Latin American Presidents. That would be criticized much more."

Photographs of Morales wearing the frock everywhere from Spain to China to South Africa, over an open-necked shirt or dressed up with a black, shiny leather jacket, have made the pullover a must-have item back home. In 2006, a Bolivian businessman started a line of wool sweaters called Evo Fashion, designed to look just like the President's.