North Korean authorities have allegedly moved towards banning citizens from wearing leather trench coats because it is “disrespectful” to emulate the fashion choice’s of the country’s leader Kim Jong Un. 


Leather jackets have been around since the early 2000s — but gained popularity in North Korea when the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un wore it on television in 2019. 

“During the military parade at the 8th Party Congress in January of this year, the Highest Dignity [Kim Jong Un] and all the high-ranking officials were shown wearing leather coats also,” said a source to Radio Free Asia. 

The elite North Koreans purchased these trench coats from China but they were later manufactured in the country. According to Newsweek, the leather coats were extremely expensive.

Real leather trench coats cost 170 000 won (R2302) and 80 000 won (R1083) for fake leather. This is an exorbitant amount considering the average salary in North Korea was estimated at 4000 won (R54) in 2018. 

ALSO READ: North Korean ‘fashion police’: Kim Jong-un bans skinny jeans and mullets


A source said that the leather trench coats were viewed as a “symbol of power”. In September, private clothing merchants asked trading company officials to import synthetic leather to design these coats. 

“They copied the design of the leather coats worn by the Highest Dignity and the officials and now they are being sold in the marketplace,” said the source.

The trench coats were allegedly confiscated of those wearing them so young men protested this, saying they paid for it with their own money.However, the police stated that this was an “impure” trend and went after those making the coast and wearing them.

“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. They instructed the public not to wear leather coats, because it is part of the party’s directive to decide who can wear them,” continued the source.

“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. They also go after people wearing them in public,” said a second source.

ALSO READ: Posh princess: Paris Hilton wears FOUR wedding dresses [photos]