In its section titled “Fall’s 2013 Top Fashion Trends,” Elle features an image of a North Korean soldier looking through binoculars with a model in camouflage pants that add “a bold, androgynous look,” the website says.
“Some iteration of the military trend stomps down the runways every few seasons. This time, it’s edgier, even dangerous, with sharp buckles and clasps and take-no-prisoners tailoring,” the description continues.
Human rights activist Ken Kato said the fashion shoot showcased Elle’s “deplorable ignorance.”
“If they knew anything about North Korea — more then 2 million people starved to death by the regime, child slaves, public executions, infanticides in detention facilities, threats of pre-emptive nuclear strikes — they would never have shown North Korean military fatigues as a fashion trend,” he told The Telegraph.
In a report by the US-based Committee for Human Rights in Asia, one female defector told of being forced by guards to assist injection-induced labors and then watching as the baby was suffocated with a wet towel in front of its mother.
“And these are the acts that guards wearing the ‘fashions’ that Elle is promoting are carrying out every day,” Mr. Kato told The Telegraph.