Is Kim Jong Un a North Korean Fashion Icon?

Kyung Ho Kim, Jan. 20, 2016, 8:04 a.m.


The tunic jacket sported by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is becoming all the rage among senior officials in the North, much as in his father's day they tended toward jumpsuits and shapeless anoraks. A source on Tuesday said many people are now looking for Mao-style jackets in the markets. The trend can also be spotted in TV footage from North Korea.

Kim Jong-un made his first public appearance in a Mao-style jacket at a Workers Party congress in September 2010. Since then, he has sported it at many major events, apparently himself imitating his grandfather, nation founder Kim Il-sung.Kim's wife Ri Sol-ju used to wear dresses or short skirts, but since October 2013 she has also increasingly embraced the Mao suit.

Kim Jong-il cut a rather less snazzy figure in his khaki or gray zippered jumpsuits, which he seemed to believe concealed his puny shoulders and pot belly, while his anoraks made him look increasingly like a bewildered pensioner. The country's gigantic statuary increasingly reflects the leaders' styles. The super-size Kim Jong-il statue on Mansudae Hill in Pyongyang used to wear a sharp overcoat, but in 2012 it got the correct padded anorak. 

 

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