Kim Ju Ae, the 10-year-old daughter of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was seen wearing a black jacket allegedly made by a high-end French fashion retailer.
Kim and his daughter were last seen during last week’s test launch of Hwasong-17, North Korea’s most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the mainland U.S.
South Korea’s broadcaster TV Chosun quickly noticed Kim Ju Ae’s clothing, noting its distinctive stitching. The South Korean media suggested that Kim’s daughter wore a jacket by Christian Dior.
The Washington Post reported, citing details from Dior’s website, that the 10- and 12-year-old sizes of the fashion house’s jacket sell for $2,800 in the U.S.
“The hooded down jacket honors House heritage with the iconic Cannage motif,” according to Dior’s website.
The distinctive stitching noticed in Kim Ju Ae’s jacket was Cannage, which comprised a geometrical pattern of squares and diagonals. The pattern is also evident in other Dior products.
The luxurious French fashion retailer has tapped famous South Korean personalities, including Jimin of BTS and Jisoo of Blackpink, to be its brand ambassadors in its bid to dominate the Asian market.
Kim Ju Ae’s well-off appearance has only led some North Koreans to secretly resent her since the Korean socialist state still suffers from widespread hunger and poverty.
Residents living in North Korea’s South Pyongan province are angry seeing Kim’s daughter’s “plump white face” because children in their neighborhood cannot even eat three meals daily.
One North Korean resident also called letting Ju Ae wear expensive clothes influenced by capitalist culture a “hypocrite.” The resident said North Korean authorities punish teenagers for following the latest fashion trends.
Even Ju Ae’s mother, Ri Sol Ju, was known for having a luxurious lifestyle.
Some images of her showed her carrying pursues that looked like they were from popular designer brands Chanel and Christian Dior.
Joung Eun-lee, a researcher at the Seoul-based Korea Institute for National Unification, revealed that North Korea’s elite enjoys wearing fancy clothes despite the fact that most of the country’s population is impoverished.
“Outsiders tend to think fashion in North Korea is frumpy and outdated, but North Korea’s elite are up to date with new style trends,” Joung said. “They share photos of stylish looks via smartphone and shop at boutiques in Pyongyang.”
Despite the lack of official figures, a study published in the weekly international journal Nature in 2020 estimated that North Korea’s poverty rate was around 60%.
NK News, an online news outlet focusing on North Korean affairs, reported, citing South Korea’s National Statistical Office (KOSTAT), that residents in the North only earn just 4% of the average income in the South.