Kim Jong-un is now the world’s toughest fashion police. The North Korean dictator seems to be really possessive of his leather look, and has now reportedly deemed it illegal for citizens to wear leather coats — or even sport anything that bears too much resemblance to his signature piece.
Striking a personal cord, Jong-un’s blanket ban is listed as an attempt to keep others from imitating his personal style. He and his triage have been cloaking themselves in leather trenches, sparking a wave of faux imitations and trends across the classes, especially after some recent TV appearances.
No copycats — The dictator and other officials were seen wearing the unofficial uniform earlier this year at the North Korean 8th Party Congress military parade. This sparked an influx in Chinese leather, and ultimately, the ban. Though leather jackets and trenches have been a staple since the 1900s and 2000s in North Korea, Jong-un’s restrictions intend to put an end to any Who Wore It Best discussions. Officials are cracking down on manufacturers who make any of the leather-lookalikes, as well as ordinary citizens caught wearing them in public, citing it as an “impure trend to challenge the authority of the Highest Dignity.”
Not to discredit war and terrorism, North Korea’s newspaper cites capitalistic culture as the culprit of the country’s downfall. Stating it could make the country crumble like a “damp wall” if allowed to seep in, the regime is deadly serious about its capitalistic limitations. The Workers’ Party newspaper, Rodong Sinmum, also urged citizens to fight against capitalism, reinforced by fashion bans over the past few years.
As a hater of most things pop culture (not to mention democracy and basic human rights), Jong-un is adding the leather coat ban to the growing list of outlawed looks, which includes piercings, mullets, and skinny jeans. The “exotic and decadent lifestyle” of capitalism, which somehow includes tight pants and frivolous hairstyles, poses a threat to the dictator’s leadership, according to Yonhap, another of the country’s newspapers. It’s safe to presume that no one is exempt, so here’s hoping that his bestie Donald Trump doesn’t show up to the dinner party in the same fit.
Joan Rivers, but make it a dictatorship — Overall, Jong-un shows no plans of slowing down the laws. In 2015, young male citizens were ordered to sport his slicked-back hairstyle, a pushback on “improper” hair, and women were not allowed to have long hair if they weren’t married. All but 15 “non-socialist” hairstyles were outlawed, including spiked and dyed looks. Branded t-shirts and ripped denim were added to the list as Jong-Un restricted clothing that was considered “too foreign.” He also called K-Pop a “vicious cancer,” spreading his blatant distaste outside of fashion as well.
This comes at unfortunate timing, given that Kim Kardashian is continuing to spark leather trends. Only time will tell which fashion trend Jong-un will add to his Hot or Not list next.