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Dictating fashion? The strange and unique styles of world leaders

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Dictating fashion? The strange and unique styles of world leaders


To mark the fresh ridicule being aimed at North Korea’s Kim Jong-un for his new haircut, we look at other world leaders with unique style.

One of the first on the list was Libya’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi, one of several dictators to make the cut.

Latin America and Africa feature prominently, although, for the latter, some of the unique style can be put down to ceremonial dress.

Kim’s new haircut, or rather variation on his traditional shaved sides look, was snapped by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency. It revealed his hair now “sculpted into a high, wedge-shaped pompadour that sits atop his head like a hat”, as one commentator put it.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, Angela Merkel and Bolivia’s Evo Morales are among those, it could be argued, whose dressing style helps them look authoritative. John T Molloy’s 1970s book Dress for Success popularised the concept of power dressing.

Gallery: the world’s style leaders?

  • Muammar Gaddafi

    The former Libya leader had his dress sense mocked in Sacha Baron Cohen’s film The Dictator.

  • Styling a revolution?

    Fidel Castro & Hugo Chávez, ex-leaders of Cuba & Venezuela, showing off their love of tracksuits.

  • Full Merkel jacket

    Is Germany’s chancellor ever seen in public in anything else but a jacket?

  • Hats off to you Ma’am

    Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is widely-admired for her dress sense, especailly when it comes to hats.

  • Robert Mugabe

    Zimbabwe’s dictator sporting a lurid yellow suit.

  • Evo Morales

    Bolivia’s leader is known for his cosy jumpers but here displays a smarter style.

  • Nicolás Maduro

    Venezuela’s president following in the footsteps of Chavez with this patriotic tracksuit top.

  • Goodluck Jonathan

    Nigeria’s president, often dressing more flamboyantly than this, in his trademark black hat.

  • Kim Jong-un

    North Korea’s dictator shows off his new ‘pompadour’ hair style.

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