Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010

Zuma's Neon No-No

Black leather jackets have long been a style staple among South Africans, particularly President Jacob Zuma, who routinely shuns traditional suit coats and blazers for a hipper alternative.

Still, it was a snazzier version of Zuma's sartorial standby that turned heads — in the opposite direction. The recently-elected president appeared at his victory party last May in a leather jacket embellished with yellow and green racing stripes, in homage to the country's national colors.

Hoping to capitalize on Zuma's Man of the People persona and promote party identity, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has launched a line of 19 brightly colored leather jackets which include a replica of Zuma's, fittingly named the "President No 1."

Though Zuma's politics may have inspired South Africans to vote for him, they might be less inclined to dress like him. In a poll by South Africa's Independant Online, 86% of respondents said they wouldn't don the fluorescent threads.