Nothing about Noko Jeans
has been simple. You have to expect this, of course, when you're using labor in North Korea
to manufacture a product for sale in the west. Of course, the Noko guys seemed to have an edge over the rest of the western world, since they're from Sweden
, the only country in Europe that has diplomatic relations with the reclusive regime. In fact, Sweden represents the United States in Pyongyang
Well, it didn't work all that smoothly. The fashion company was booted from Swedish retailer PUB. Then, it had to close its "museum" (i.e., boutique) in Stockholm
. It looked like the company would only be able to live on in the virtual world, as an online retailer.
Thanks to the Danes, however, the situation has changed, even if only temporarily. Until Sunday (February 14, 2010), Noko Jeans will be at the Gallery International Fashion Fair in Copenhagen
, showcasing the Kara Slim Fit and Oke Loose Fit jeans. The company's also offering "some interesting sneak peeks of the future of Noko Jeans," it said in a statement.
The Noko "road show" was inspired by the response the company has received following its recent travails. In a statement, founders Jacob Åström, Jakob Ohlsson and Tor Rauden Källstigen said, "There's only so many e-mails and phone calls we can respond to, so we decided to take Noko Jeans on the road. The first stop, at Gallery during the fashion week in Copenhagen, felt very natural as it is very close and very awesome."
And, the hunt for space isn't over yet. The founders say, "Our hopes and ambitions with Gallery is to find new and great places where our story can be told, both in Scandinavia and the rest of the world."