Fashion police officers have been deployed to patrol the streets of North Korea to confiscate faux leather jackets from those selling or wearing them.
It is being reported that North Korean authorities have banned leather trench coats for its people since it became a style staple for ruler Kim Jong-Un.
Daily Mail reported that the leather coat was first worn by the leader in 2019, after which it became popular among North Korea’s elite class eager to show their allegiance to him as among those who could afford real leather.
Of late, however, knock-offs of the coat had become popular. Merchants selling them and people wearing them are now facing crackdown from authorities.
As per an International Business Times report, the item had also become popular among women after Kim’s sister Yo Jong was seen wearing one earlier in November.
The crackdown has been imposed on cheap imitations of the fashion item. Sources familiar with the matter told Radio Free Asia that wearing these knock-offs was “an impure trend to challenge the authority of the Highest Dignity.
Fashion police is not a metaphorical term in this scenario; news reports stated that fashion police officers have been deployed to patrol the streets to confiscate faux leather jackets from those selling or wearing them.
Radio Free Asia quoted a source who claimed that after Kim and cohort’s TV appearance wearing leather coats, the fashion item became a symbol of power.
Thereafter, since September of this year, private merchants asked trading officials to import synthetic leather and the design worn by Kim was copied.
The report said that young men have been protesting the move, stating that there was no reason to take away the clothing items that they bought with their own money.
A resident of North Pyongan told Radio Free Asia that even though the leather trench coat was a recent trend, leather jackets had been worn by North Koreans since the early 2000s when they were popularized by South Korean actor Jang Dong-gun.