Millionaire businesswoman Samantha Cameron has spoken of her financial woes by revealing mortgage and childcare payments left her unable to buy designer clothes.
The mother-of-four, who last year launched contemporary designer womenswear brand Cefinn, told attendees at FoundHer Festival for women entrepreneurs she was inspired to create the label (which includes t-shirts for £110) after sensing a “gap in the market”.
In comments reported by The Telegraph, the wife of former Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I had been working in the luxury/ fashion business for a long time and didn’t have disposable income, with childcare and mortgage etc, to buy designer clothes.
“But obviously, working in the fashion industry, I wanted to find workwear and daywear that had a bit of a fashion edge, that felt a bit cleaner, younger, more modern than what was available. So it was a feeling that there was a gap in the market.”
Cameron, who in a previous role as creative director of luxury stationery brand Smythson earned £400,000 a year, has an aristocratic and moneyed heritage as the daughter of baronet Sir Reginald Sheffield and Annabel Jones, who went on to marry William Waldorf Astor III.
In the UK, where the average salary is £27,600, her comments have gone down like the proverbial lead balloon.
Some commenters branded her “crass” and pondered whether her remarks amounted to parody, while Dan Jarvis (not the MP of the same name) said: “I think someone needs a healthy dose of reality. Perhaps she’d like to swap places with a Grenfell House resident.”
Sherborne Food Bank wryly tweeted: “As we launch our summer appeal on food poverty, a unique perspective on money worries from Samantha Cameron.”
Cameron’s Smythson salary dwarfed her husband’s £142,500 a year while he was prime minister and her taste for expensive trappings is known.
In 2011 the family was forced to reveal the details of the £64,000 revamp of the Downing Street flat, having decided to update the décor when they moved in.
The changes included the installation of a £25,000 kitchen, a £1,431 sofa and new £70 per square metre walnut flooring. The cost of the refurb was paid out of the official £30,000 annual maintenance budget while the rest came from private funds.
The Camerons also bought a Rancilio coffee machine (£500), Jamie Oliver brand saucepans (£43 each) and a two-slice toaster (£130).
When Cameron left office, the family reportedly arranged a £3.5m mortgage on a new home, with the former PM bragging about the purchase of a £25,000 shed in which he plans to write his forthcoming autobiography in.
The shepherd’s hut includes a wood-burning stove, sofa bed and sheep’s wool insulation.