Pope's shoes not made by Prada

June 26, 2008 at 10:44 AM

ROME, June 26 (UPI) -- Rumors that Pope Benedict XVI wears shoes made by high-fashion Italian designer Prada are "of course false," Vatican sources say.

Speculation that the Pope wears designer clothes has been flying around since he was elected in 2005, The Times of London reported Thursday.

The Pope's brightly colored red shoes and attractive sunglasses have prompted many to deem him a "style icon," the Times said.

The rumors were cleared up Thursday in L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.

Vatican sources said the Pope gets his shoes from Adriano Stefanelli, a cobbler in Novara, Italy.

Spanish writer and author, Juan Manuel de Prada, wrote in the article the Pope is a "simple and sober man" and rumors saying otherwise were "stupid and banal."

"The Pope is not dressed by Prada but by Christ," he said.

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