Fake Adidas and Hello Kitty: a taste of consumerism for North Korea’s elite

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Kim Jong-Un is quietly allowing a tightly controlled fortunate few in Pyongyang access to designer knock-offs, smartphones and even a version of Amazon

At the Ryuwon shoe factory in Pyongyang, Adidas trainers gleam on a stand beside the production line, a personal gift from dictator Kim Jong-un to inspire workers churning out imitations for the North Korean faithful.

“The Great Marshall sent shoes from other countries so the workers can see and touch them,” said the factory guide. Kim’s style hints have been embraced. The factory showroom boasts virtual copies of western brands from Puma to Nike, alongside more experimental hybrids, including Asics patterns on a loafer sole.

Imported luxury offers Kim a way of co-opting his elite – or at least distracting them

At a high-rise apartment block of model homes, water supply is intermittent, although no one complains

Related: The Pyonghattan project: how North Korea’s capital is transforming into a ‘socialist fairyland’

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Source: north-korea
Link : Fake Adidas and Hello Kitty: a taste of consumerism for North Korea’s elite

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