North Korea Has Instructed Its Factories To Copy Big Brands’ Sneaker Designs

by MR Magazine Staff

Sneakers from leading brands such as Nike and Adidas aren’t readily available in North Korea. But at the behest of the country’s government, local producers are taking influence from those foreign labels and filling the gap themselves, cranking out look-a-likes of Air Jordans and other styles. “The respected leader Kim Jong Un has instructed us to closely study shoes from all over the world and learn from their example,” Kim Kyong Hui, of Pyongyang’s Ryuwon Shoe Factory, told the Associated Press. The showroom of the footwear factory, photographed by the AP, is filled with examples of sneakers for sports such as basketball, running, and soccer that bear a clear resemblance to products from well-known international brands, including Nike, Asics, and more. In November, the Guardian visited the same factory, which the country promotes as a model of its shoemaking industry. On a stand next to the production line sat a pair of Adidas sneakers sent as a personal gift by Kim Jong Un “to inspire workers churning out imitations for the North Korean faithful,” it reported. Read more at Quartz.