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'Bush shoe': New orders for 300,000 pairs!

December 22, 2008 15:49 IST
The world's most notorious pair of black leather shoes, that made history, has even generated 100 jobs in Turkey.

The footwear that robbed George W. Bush of his dignity and landed its owner Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi - who hurled them at the US President at a press meet in Baghdad -- in prison, has yielded an unexpected bonanza for its maker.

Ever since the incident, Ramazan Baydan, the owner of the Istanbul-based Baydan Shoe Company, has been swamped with orders from across the world.

In fact, Baydan has recruited an additional 100 staff to meet orders for 300,000 pairs of Model 271, more than four times the shoe's normal annual sale, following an outpouring of support for Zaidi's act, The Guardian reported.

Orders have come mainly from the US and Britain, and from neighbouring Muslim countries, he said.

Around 120,000 pairs have been ordered from Iraq, while a US company has placed a request for 18,000. A British firm is said to have offered to serve as European distributor for the shoes, which have been on the market since 1999 and sell at around 28 pounds in Turkey.

A sharp rise in orders has been recorded in Syria, Egypt and Iran, where the shoemaker's federation has offered to provide Zaidi and family with a lifetime's supply of shoes.

And, to meet the mood of the marketplace, Baydan is planning to rename the model "Bush Shoe" or "Bye-Bye Bush".

"We've been selling these shoes for years but, thanks to Bush, orders are flying in like crazy. We've even hired an agency to look at television advertising," he was quoted by the British newspaper as saying.

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