North Korea has banned leather coats that copy the style of North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnNorth Korea fires two more missiles, calls US sanctions a 'provocation' Biden strategy on North Korea under pressure over missile launches Kim Jong Un's latest missile hit its mark: US-South Korea relations MORE, multiple sources told Radio Free Asia.
Kim popularized the leather jacket in 2019. It was initially worn by rich people who could afford the pricey item.
However, fake leather was soon imported so the jacket could be worn by those with less money, which frustrated the North Korean leader.
“When these leather coats became popular, the law enforcement authorities went after the companies that made the coats that look too much like the Highest Dignity’s,” one source said.
A military parade in North Korea in January showed all the high-ranking officials wearing leather jackets, sparking even more interest in the material. However, literal fashion police have worked to confiscate the fake leather jackets in markets and from people wearing them.
Citizens have complained, saying it is not fair to take a jacket they paid for.
"The police respond to the complaints, saying that wearing clothes designed to look like the Highest Dignity’s is an 'impure trend to challenge the authority of the Highest Dignity,'" another source said. "They instructed the public not to wear leather coats, because it is part of the party’s directive to decide who can wear them."
The leather jacket has also been worn by Kim Yo Jong, Kim Jong Un’s sister, who is speculated to be his chosen successor, according to the outlet.
“So now the leather coat has become a symbol for powerful women too,” the first source said.