Silk jackets are selling like hot-cakes in China after US President George Bush and fellow presidents Jiang Zemin and Vladimir Putin donned the chic designs at the recent Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit.

According to reports in Britain's Daily Telegraph, the presidents' choice of clothing has seen them become pin-ups and trigger a fashion craze that is forcing tailors to turn away business as they struggle to keep up with demand for "Apec jackets".
 
The Boren tailoring firm, with six outlets in Beijing, has been selling more than 1,000 made-to-measure Apec jackets a month at about £40 a time - more than a week's income for most of the Chinese population.

Lu Yilai, whose family has been making traditional Chinese silk clothes for three generations, told the paper: "The effect has been really dramatic. We had customers waiting for two hours to be served, and now we've stopped taking orders."

Recalling watching the world leaders in their silk jackets pose on photographs on TV, Mr Lu adds: "I thought that could be good for us, but I had no idea how good. Since Apec, we've been selling an average of 50 to 60 jackets a day."