North Korea bans skinny jeans

Multiple outlets are reporting that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has announced a list of banned fashion items and hairstyles, in a state-run newspaper including skinny jeans, mullets and certain body piercings.

They are thought to be symbols of a “capitalistic lifestyle” and are considered illegal. It follows a state-run newspaper warning that more more needs to be done to stop “capitalistic culture” from taking over the country, a South Korean broadcaster Yonhap News Agency said.

Miley Cyrus shows off her mullet.
Miley Cyrus shows off her mullet. Photograph: Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Rodong Sinmum, the official newspaper of the North Korean government published an article expressing concern about young North Koreans increasingly embracing Western fashion trends. “We must be wary of even the slightest sign of the capitalist lifestyle and fight to get rid of them,” the article said. The new fashion rules are part of the regime’s crackdown on “anti-socialist behaviour”.

The communist regime has reportedly outlawed all but 15 “non-socialist” haircuts and has instead issued an order on “proper” hairstyles, the newspaper said.

Kate Moss in skinnies in 2008.
Kate Moss in skinnies in 2008. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

As well as mullets, spiky and dyed hair are no longer authorised according to documents published by the Socialist Patriotic Youth League and seen by Rodong Sinmum. Members of the state-run youth organisation often act as the nation’s “fashion police” and their duties include stopping from clothes which look too “foreign” being worn.

Skinny jeans, nose and lip piercings as well as branded t-shirts are also forbidden, according to Metro.


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