A group of Swedish entrepreneurs, however, thought differently; and in 2007, Jacob Åström, Tor Rauden Källstigen and Jakob Ohlsson started Noko Jeans. Because there is so little known about North Korea, the members of Noko Jeans were interested in knowing more about the country; and Noko Jeans was their way of gaining access.
After a year of email correspondences, negotiations, and business trips to North Korea, they managed to seal a deal with the country’s biggest mining company to produce 1,100 pairs of two styles of jeans, expected to go on sale this Friday, December 4th.
Priced at 150 Euros each and stitched with a "Made in North Korea" label, the team has designed limited straight-cut, dark-washed jeans, stark in its design to resemble the North Korean landscapes. With the launch includes a documentary of the company's trip to North Korea, exposing the world of it's rather transparent production method and further insight of an enigmatic nation.
As it is North Korea’s first denim product, it is likely that Noko’s first collection of jeans, Maneuvers in the Dark, will sell out in no time. However, although Noko has the cool, edgy look for a premium denim brand, it is still questionable as to whether their “Made in North Korea” tags will be embraced by their denim loving consumers. But even then, as North Korea may not have the best connotations, it’s isolated and somewhat secretive identity may work to Noko’s advantage, providing an unmarked territory as grounds to help spark a more positive association.
Noko’s website does not yet include the details of where you can purchase these jeans, but check back shortly and we’ll let you know as soon as we find out!