Monday, 15 November 2010

Sebastián Piñera - The Spin - AnOther Mag

The Spin | Sebastián Piñera
— November 2, 2010—
David Hellqvist tries to make sense of the sartorial choices of World Leaders in his column The Spin

Everyone else jumped on the bandwagon so why shouldn’t The Spin be allowed? The Chilean mine crisis might be over but President Sebastián Piñera has just returned from a European tour, during which both the Queen and Prime Minister David Cameron were given rocks from the San Jose mine – so the 60-year-old millionaire is still very much in the worldwide spotlight. Piñera is groundbreaking in recent Chilean history since he is the first Conservative leader to be elected after the fall of military dictator Augusto Pinochet. 

This ideological fact made Piñera’s support and emotional welcome to the 33 miners even more heartfelt. After all, Chile's mining corps live and work on modest levels and standards. Meanwhile, the Harvard-educated professor in economy is one of Chile’s wealthiest people; his broad smile, year-round tan, silver grey hair and robust body frame might be a bit too close to the facial features of Robert Kilroy-Silk’s for his own good, but no one is perfect!

The heavy burden weighing on Piñera’s shoulder is how to re-brand Chile through losing the morbid associations of Pinochet and take the South American country head first into the 21st century. Of course, the happy ending to the “trapped miners” saga helped a great deal. “I hope that from now on when people around the world hear the word Chile, they will not remember the coup d'etat or the dictatorship, they will remember what we had done, all the Chileans together,” Piñera said. But it could have been different. 

On the day of Piñera’s inauguration in March 2010, Chile was the victim of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the centre of the country, killing over 500 people and making 1,000s homeless. After the quake came the tsunami warning… Nevertheless, Sebastián Piñera’s ratings are soaring; he is now one of the people! The mining crisis saw 33 hairy men in Oakley wraparound glasses go free and one man becoming the star, both in his home country and on the worldwide stage. Everyone's a winner…

David Hellqvist is the Commissioning Editor of Dazed Digital, a freelance contributor to Men’s Vogue and GQ in China, AnOther Man, ZOO and i-D Magazines. He also writes the blog Fashion in Politics

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