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By
AFP
Published
Oct 23, 2012
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'Made in France' minister helps boost sales of sailor tops

By
AFP
Published
Oct 23, 2012

RENNES - Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg has launched his efforts to plug "Made in France" products which are paying off and how.

(photo: AFP)

The striped Breton sailor top, as evocative of France as the beret and worn by the likes of Coco Chanel, Brigitte Bardot and Pablo Picasso, is being snapped up after Montebourg posed in one on a magazine cover to promote French-made fare.

The head of Armor-Lux, a company manufacturing the traditional blue-and-white "mariniere", said he is laughing all the way to the bank.

Jean-Guy Le Floc'h told AFP sales on Saturday jumped 65 percent week-on-week after the Montebourg photo appeared a day earlier in Parisien magazine. His company sold 400 pieces for about 20,000 euros ($26,000).

"It's very positive for us," he said, adding that the mariniere had "become basic clothing in France although not quite to the level of jeans."

Montebourg, a strong critic of the way France has opened its markets to globalisation and free trade, is pushing a campaign for consumers to buy local goods and encourage supermarkets to create sections of floor space solely for "Made in France" products.

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