Angelina Jolie refused to buy an Akris ecru horsehair handbag until she had checked about the background of the horses used in it.

The 34-year-old actress, who is well known for her global charity work, was concerned about their welfare and had her stylist call up Akris to check about their treatment.

However, Akris designer Albert Kriemler confirmed she had nothing to worry about when she purchased the bag, which is made from the tails of horses.

He said: "We told her horses get haircuts just like we do."

Angelina was recently seen with the bag, which retails for just shy of $5,000.

One of the world's most glamorous women, Angelina is often seen as a fashion icon - although in a list of the best dressed women of 2009 she only managed to come in 15, beaten by Cheryl Cole, Dannii Minogue and Diane Kruger.

Alexa Chung topped the list of best dressed celebrities, compiled by Vogue magazine.

Angelina began her career as a fashion model before moving into music videos, starring in the likes of Lenny Kratviz's 'Stand by My Woman' and Meat Loaf's 'Rock and roll Dreams Come True'.