North Korean women, A Colourful Look in Fashion

Daily NK
Kim Min Se

It has been reported, colourful clothes and accessories such as gold rings are current hot trend among North Korean women, unlike their conservative dressing ritual in the past.

This transformation has been clearly revealed by Daily NK’s recent encounter with North Korea-China traders and their main importing goods for North Korea.

On the 18th, Choi Myong Hee (pseudonym), who has been trading the indispensable from Dandong, China, to North Korea, talked about this new trend in North Korea as meeting one of our reporters at some place in downtown Dandong.

Choi said “Recently white-based yellow and red floral prints have been going very well” “And also animal prints with puppies or ducks have been good,too. On the other hand, human-figured prints have not been doing well”

According to Choi, colourful looks have been the latest mode among North Korean women in big cities like Pyongyang. In particular, accessories have been a big trend.

Currently, Choi has been selling light industry goods such as clothing. However, it is accessory trading she has made a sizable profit nowadays. The accessories she has bought in Shenyang or Dalian, China at 5~8 Yuan (US$ 0.6~1) have been sold at 10~15 Yuan (US$ 1.3~2 ) in department stores and markets in Pyongyang.

Choi admitted “Accessory trading requires less cost and makes greater profit. Especially, I have never had a problem transporting them because of their efficient size.” we were told, she normally imports 10,000 various kinds of accessories to North Korea, mainly necklace and hair clips, and her major clienteles are women in Pyongyang.

Choi declared that necklaces, rings and hair clips have become common accessories for most of North Korean women. In fact, she has been trading accessories quite a few times on the sly.

“Still, necklaces and bracelets with religious symbols such as a cross or charms are prohibited” she remarked. In addition “Too much dazzling or abnormal looking necklaces are also forbidden.. So, it is crucial to import most favored design and colour.”

It is considered this radical change of North Korean women has resulted from increasing flexibility of the population because of the stimulated market as trading has been the only way to provide maintenance due to the fall of rationing system.

Besides, the influence from Chinese accessory fashion is observed to be one of the major factors as growing numbers of North Koreans have been visiting China.

Moreover, this changing trend of North Korean women, who have begun to dress up with colourful clothes and accessories, is perceived as a reflection on women’s natural desire, admiration on beauty.


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