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.
At $150 per pair here, the jeans cost almost as much as one of Apple’s technology products.
“In the case of Levi’s 501 jeans, they were sold out for four days at Shinsegae’s [flagship] store after Jobs passed away Oct. 5,” said one store official.
Jobs’ look changed over the years. The tech genius went from a necktie and vest in the early years to a later look that featured a bow tie and button-down shirt. But he will be most remembered for the dressed-down turtleneck-and-blue-jeans look, which he began sporting in the 1990s.
So where did Jobs pick up his iconic style? Many Seoul fashionistas might be surprised at the answer: Japan -– a longtime style competitor here in South Korea.
According to Walter Isaacson, a Jobs biographer, the Apple founder was influenced by the uniformed look of many employees during a trip to Japan in the 1980s.
In his book, “Steve Jobs,” the author related how the Jobs look came to be:
“On a trip to Japan in the early 1980s, Jobs asked Sony’s chairman Akio Morita why everyone in the company’s factories wore uniforms. He told Jobs that after the war, no one had any clothes, and companies like Sony had to give their workers something to wear each day. Over the years, the uniforms developed their own signature styles, especially at companies such as Sony, and it became a way of bonding workers to the company. ‘I decided that I wanted that type of bonding for Apple,’ Jobs recalled.