Dumb Hipster Idea of the Week - $215 Jeans Made in North Korea

| by Reason Foundation

Three annoying Swedish hipsters traveled to the worst human rights abuser on
Earth to produce 1,100 pairs of skinny jeans! Reuters has all the exciting, transgressive details:

Designer jeans labeled "Made in North Korea" will go on sale this Friday at a
trendy department store in the Swedish capital, marking a first foray into
Western fashion for the reclusive communist state.

The jeans, marketed under the "Noko" brand, carry a price tag of 1,500
Swedish crowns ($215) and will share shelf space at Stockholm's PUB store with
brands such as Guess and Levi's.

Noko's founders told Reuters they had spent over a year trying to gain access
to factory operators in North Korea, and struggled with poor communications and
an unfamiliar approach to doing business once inside the country.

"There is a political gap, there is a mental gap, and there is an economic
gap," said Jacob Astrom, one of three Swedish advertising executives behind the
project. "All contacts with the country are difficult and remain so to this

Penetrating insights, Jacob! In an interview with the Swedish magazine
Resume, Åström refused to criticize
Kim's Juche terror state, explaining that the public would have to wait to hear
his opinion of the country. Setting up the Google Alert now.

The idea for the project was born out of curiosity for North Korea, which has
grown increasingly isolated in recent years under Western criticism of its human
rights record and nuclear ambitions. "The reason we did this was to come closer
to a country that was very difficult to get into contact with," Astrom said.

North Korea, a country better known for its reclusive nature than fashionable
clothes, rarely allows outsiders within its borders and has virtually no trade
or diplomatic relations with most Western countries. Sweden, one of only seven
countries to have an embassy in North Korea, is an exception....During the
summer, the trio travelled to the factory in North Korea to oversee the
production process and ensure that workers there were treated according to
Noko's guidelines.

So can we safely assume that publicly executing employees is outside of
Noko's labor guidelines?

You can watch NoKo's promotional video (including some of the strangest
English pronunciations outside of Pyongyang) here. And for those who speak a Scandinavian
language, don't forget to register with the Swedish-North Korean Friendship Society.