This holiday season, South Korean youths are snapping up a new fashion statement -– the Levi’s 501 jeans made famous by the late Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs.Actually, and I don't know if I should be embarrassed to admit this, but I used to dress almost exactly like Steve Jobs, though not for camaraderie or anything, and certainly not every day (Kushibo can rock a suit). I just liked 501s and black or dark gray mock turtlenecks. After Steve Jobs made it his thing, I kinda sorta had to back off a bit. Nowadays I look like someone from Lost or Hawaii Five-0. But not the Hurley guy.
In this wired nation, where 99% of people under 40 regularly use the Internet, many trends are cyber-induced, and in recent years, young consumers have rejected the products and image of homegrown Samsung in favor of the iconic Jobs.
South Koreans buy tons of Apple products, but, style-wise, the jeans are the new hip thing.
A poll taken by Shinsegae, a major department store here, found that the Jobs-inspired 501 look was one of the hottest sellers this year.
I don't know where I was going with that.
Anyway, I find it interesting that in a country where Apple had come to be seen as a rival to the fortunes of the country's own great electronics icon, that Steve Jobs would be seen as such a hero worthy of emulation. I guess that's a sign of changing allegiances and, perhaps, a sense that the old order of chaebol supremacy (with the concomitant tendency to follow Western technological trends and the perceived lack of creativity) has seen its day.
Yup. Quite a pronouncement to make from a pair of pants. Next week: I'll explain Kim Jong-il and his purple-flared ski jacket.