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The billionaire CEO wife of the Singaporean prime minister visited the Obamas carrying an $11 purse

Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Not exactly known as a fashion trailblazer, Ho Ching, the CEO of Temasek and the wife of Singaporean prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, sparked a fashion craze this week. Arriving in Washington on Aug. 2 for a historic state visit, the 63-year-old executive, listed among the most powerful women in the world by Forbes, raised eyebrows when she accessorized her gold and black pantsuit with a goofy, dinosaur-flecked denim pouch sold online for $11 (SGD $14.80).

Screen capture from TODAY
Dino craze

The pouch’s designer is 19-year-old student See Toh Sheng Jie, who attends the Art Faculty by Pathlight, a school in Singapore that nurtures artistic talents of kids with autism and special needs. As his father, Jason, explains in the video below, Sheng Jie has trouble concentrating; drawing and moulding anatomically accurate dinosaurs is the only thing that gets him to focus. The school makes bags, wallets, notebooks and cards with Sheng Jie’s dinosaur drawings to showcase his talents.

The school was caught by surprise at Ching’s choice and was unprepared for the fashionistas clamoring for what is now a  world famous dino-purse. The school sold all 200 bags it had in stock in 24 hours.

“The school texted us saying, ‘Madame Ho Ching brought Sheng Jie’s bag to the White House.’ Actually we thought they were joking until we saw the news,” beams Jie’s father. “We were very surprised.”

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