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Kim Jong-un, the hair icon? The North Korean supreme leader’s attention-grabbing antics on the world stage, as well as – possibly – his reaction to his portrayal on the silver screen, suggest Kim cares deeply about his public image, something perhaps newly evidenced by the trapezoid-shaped haircut he unveiled on Wednesday at a politburo meeting.

Doing away with his previous look, a centre-parted shaved-sides cut, his new look, a Brylcreemed crest, is startlingly similar to the flat top, a late-1980s style popularised by hip hop acts like Kid ’n Play, and most recently seen on the catwalk at Christopher Raeburn and MAN at last month’s men’s collections.

As with all things fashion, we can assume a haircut is never just a haircut – especially since the North Korean leader famously adopted this style as a way of conveying a connection with Kim Il-sung, his grandfather. In an interesting twist, the new look is more akin to his father Kim Jong-il’s grafity-defying style.

Kim Jong-un’s new look doesn’t stop there – as the despot also showcased new half-shaved eyebrows. Whether this was a nod to the current alt-fashion vogue in womenswear for bleached eyebrows, as seen everywhere from Kim Kardashian’s recent Love magazine cover to Marc Jacobs’s SS15 show, we don’t know, but it was a fine example of fashion’s current love of gender-neutral style.

Ki Lee, founder and creative director of Korean salon Hurwundeki, said Kim’s new look was achievable through a combination of perm and wax: “It’s not too easy to do on Asian hair,” he explains, “but we get a lot of people coming into the salon requesting this sort of volume.”

He explains that it’s fairly high-maintenance too, with that sort of height requiring a fresh perm every few months.

Tag(s) : #Asia-Pacific

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