North Korea bans leather coats to prevent its people from imitating Kim Jong Un’s fashion style (report)
North Korea bans an unlikely fashion item: leather trench coats.
That’s because North Korean leader Kim Jong Un doesn’t want his fashion style to be emulated, according to a report from Radio Free Asia.
Kim has been seen wearing leather trench coats on several occasions, including appearances on state television.
North Korea is banning leather trench coats to prevent ordinary citizens from copying the style of their supreme leader, according to Radio Free Asia.
According to the outlet, there has been a blanket ban on young men wearing leather trench coats, with police roaming the streets to seize jackets from citizens and vendors. Citing an anonymous source from inside the reclusive country, the outlet reported that the crackdown began after people began to imitate Kim Jong Un’s style.
“During the military parade to the 8th Party Congress in January this year, the highest dignitaries and all senior officials were also shown wearing leather coats,” the source told Radio Free Asia, referring to Kim by an honorary title.
The source added that leather coats also gained popularity among North Korean women after Kim’s sister Kim Yo Jong wore them.
“Leather coats started to be recognized as a symbol of power,” the source told RFA, adding that this had prompted clothing vendors to start importing synthetic leather to copy Kim’s look.
“Young men are protesting, saying they bought the coats with their own money and there is no reason to take them,” the source said.
“Police are responding to complaints, claiming that wearing clothing designed to resemble those of the highest dignity is an ‘impure tendency to challenge the authority of the highest dignity,” the source added. “They have asked the public not to wear leather coats, as it is part of the party’s directive to decide who can wear them.”
According to Radio Free Asia, buying real leather in North Korea is extremely expensive, with cowhide coats costing around $ 34. Synthetic leather ones cost half the price and sell for around $ 16.
That said, it’s still an astronomical sum to shell out for ordinary North Koreans. South Korean publication JoongAng Daily reported in 2018 that the average North Korean earned around $ 4 in basic income. Added to this are bonuses, which bring the annual salary of the regular North Korean worker to $ 201, making a real leather jacket a luxury item worth two months’ salary.
Another anonymous source, speaking to Radio Free Asia on condition of anonymity, said leather jackets have been popular in North Korea for some time, especially after South Korean actor Jang Dong-gun. worn in the early 2000s.
“It was then that South Korean films began to spread to provincial towns, and the leather jacket worn by South Korean actor Jang Dong-gun became fashionable and is still in vogue, ”the second source told Radio Free Asia.
“Wealthy entrepreneurs can import the fabric for the coats by ordering from state trading companies that have partially taken over the maritime smuggling,” the source added.
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