USA: Trump nominates handbag designer as envoy to South Africa

Famed handbag designer Lana Marks named as envoy to South Africa

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has nominated a South Florida-based luxury fashion and handbag designer to be the new U.S. ambassador to South Africa.

The White House announced the nomination of native South African Lana Marks late Wednesday.

Marks was born and raised in South Africa and is now the CEO of the Lana Marks Collections design firm which caters to celebrities. She speaks Xhosa and Afrikaans and lives in Palm Beach, Florida.

There has been no U.S. ambassador to South Africa since Trump’s election. The extended vacancy had led to criticism that the Trump administration was less committed to the U.S.-South Africa relationship than previous ones.

Ambassadorial candidates from the private sector are not uncommon for the U.S. government and account for about 30 percent of envoys across administrations.

History of owing IRS taxes

Back in 2015, the IRS filed a tax lien on the couple’s $1 million-condo in Palm Beach for a grand total $360,641 and, yes, 35 cents.

Lana sells leather goods on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach and Madison Avenue in New York to the likes of Angelina Jolie and Julianne Moore, but still: that’s a lot of handbags!

Palm Beach County court records show the government claims society’s power couple owed nearly $250,000 for 2007 and almost $100,000 for 2006.

The bill won’t make Marks a bag lady anytime soon, but you know what they say: death and taxes!