STYLE

Elle Magazine's 'North Korea Chic' Fashion Piece Angers Human Rights Watchers

11/20/2013 01:28 EST | Updated 11/20/2013 04:57 EST
elle.com

Ever wanted to dress like you were a resident of North Korea? Well, until very recently, Elle magazine had you covered.

The fashion mag received a lot of negative attention for an online trends story that named the isolated country a style inspiration for women who wanted to wear a military trend during the fall/winter.

An example of how to get the "North Korea Chic" look, according to Elle fashion editor Joe Zee, is to buy a pair of designer camouflage pants, which retail for $425. (The Washington Post notes that the average North Korean makes $4 a day.)

The Post also notes:

"Elle's creative director, Joe Zee, writes that 'North Korea Chic' is known for its 'take no prisoners tailoring,' which is presumably not a play on North Korea's practice of kidnapping foreign civilians and holding them captive for years or decades at a time. Zee compares it favorably to other military-themed fashion trends, adding that North Korea Chic is 'edgier, even dangerous.'"

The fashion piece, which appears under a "Fall's 2013 Top Fashion Trends" feature, has angered Ken Kato, director of Human Rights in Asia.

"If they knew anything about North Korea," Kato said to The Telegraph, "- more then 2 million people starved to death by the regime, child slaves, public executions, infanticides in detention facilities, threats of pre-emptive nuclear strikes - they would never have shown North Korean military fatigues as a fashion trend."

It seems that the editors at Elle listened to the outcry; as of Wednesday, the website has replaced the "North Korea Chic" story with a "Naval" theme.

Fortunately, the Korean People's Navy doesn't get a mention.

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