Is it acceptable for Latvia's president to model?

Latvia's President Raimonds Vējonis and his wife Iveta have modelled outfits by a well-known Latvian fashion designer for an Italian fashion magazine. Commentators in Latvia find the president's foray into the world of fashion inappropriate and somewhat off colour.

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Diena (LV) /

Fashion shoot a waste of time

Before the president starts fashion modelling he should do something for his country, Diena complains:

“Is it at all fitting for a state president to pose for a fashion mag? Is fashion really the right context for the president to show his human side? With his stint as a model he's joined the club of today's show politicians. Many of them are determined to be immortalised whatever it takes. ... So far Vējonis has little to show in terms of political success. If he were an excellent statesman the dress rehearsal and the time-consuming photo shoot would be on a par with collecting model airplanes. Some heads of state write poems. But their professional accomplishments back them up and their poetic ambitions harm no one.”

Tvnet (LV) /

A little less showiness, please

The presidential couple could have presented the garments by the Latvian designer in a less showy way than getting all dressed up for a photo shoot, etiquette expert Aija Strautmane writes on the Tvnet website:

“All presidents, including Latvia's, have a duty to promote their country. But there are other ways of doing this. Vējonis chose the wrong instrument this time. The demeanour, gestures and manners of models are definitely not acceptable for a presidential couple. And the outfits by Latvian fashion designer Anna Osmuškina weren't so imposing that they could only be presented by the state's first couple. The president and his wife could have simply made a public appearance wearing the designer's clothes. … The outfits worn by the Duchess Kate [Middleton] are often commented in the media. Everyone knows who her outfits are made by and how expensive they were, but Kate has never acted as a model.”