North Korea Bans Leather Coats Imitating Kim Jong-un's Look

Kim Jong-un Bans Leather Coats in North Korea to Prevent Others From Stealing His Look

Next to skinny jeans, you don’t want North Korea’s fashion police to catch you wearing this piece of clothing.

Leather jackets are on their way out as a fashion trend in North Korea, though not for the reasons you expect. It turns out that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un isn’t a fan of ordinary citizens replicating his style, particularly when it concerns his sleek leather trench coat. 

After prohibiting skinny jeans, North Korea’s government is once again restricting citizens’ individual freedoms and going after another controversial fashion item. This time, it’s resulted in a nationwide ban on leather trench coats and jackets. 

Also read: North Korean Student Who Bought Smuggled ‘Squid Game’ Receives Life Sentence

Why North Korea imposed a ban on leather coats and jackets 

Leather trench coats have risen in popularity in North Korea ever since Kim Jong-un was seen wearing one during a television appearance in 2019. Other powerful and high-ranking officials, including Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo-jong, have also been spotted wearing leather coats in public, as reported by Radio Free Asia. 

As the leather coat became known as a status symbol, affluent North Korean citizens started purchasing authentic leather coats imported from China. Following the growth in demand, local garment makers have also been making their own leather jackets and selling them in marketplaces across the country. 

Unfortunately, North Korea’s government has banned these fashion items and local authorities are patrolling the streets to confiscate leather jackets from ordinary citizens and vendors. 

Image credit: Venerala via Canva Pro

Police officers warn the public not to wear leather coats designed to imitate Kim Jong-un’s fashion style, claiming that it is an “impure trend to challenge the authority of the Highest Dignity,” according to a source from Radio Free Asia

Trench coats that are made of real leather are priced at approximately ₩170,000 (US$34), while faux leather coats cost approximately ₩80,000 (US$89). Meanwhile, the average monthly salary that a North Korean citizen makes is around ₩4,000 (US$0.66) in 2018, according to the South Korean newspaper Korea Joongang Daily

Also read: 10 Things You Should Never Do If You’re Visiting North Korea

Aside from the ban on leather coats in North Korea, the government also forbids certain haircuts and Western-inspired fashion for suggesting a capitalistic lifestyle. Some of these banned items include mullets, dyed or spiky hairstyles, nose and lip piercings, skinny jeans, and branded shirts with slogans. 

Unless you want your leather coat and beloved accessories to be confiscated by the North Korean fashion police, it’s best to leave these at home. 

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