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NOKO Jeans | Maneuvers in the Dark

Noko Jeans is not just a label. It is a story of three adventurous Swedes and the power of possibility.

The project started in 2007 when Jacob Åström, Tor Rauden Källstigen and Jakob Ohlsson e-mailed the North Korean government, inquiring about the possibility of producing jeans, after which the project swiftly grew to a more serious level.

A year later, the three would be allowed into the country as official visitors. By the end of ten days, they found partnership with a mining company.


The founders, at home in North Korea

Noko Jeans traveled to Pyongyang yet another year later to produce the first chapter of Noko jeans of 1100 pairs, called Maneuvers in the Dark. A collection designed to tell the story of the world’s most closed country and the first company to produce jeans in North Korea. The name Maneuvers in the Dark is inspired metaphorically and literally by the Pyongyang nighttime sky, and every detail in each pair of Noko Jeans is inspired in part by the night in Pyongyang.

“We are extremely happy and proud to have accomplished something that seemed to be impossible… But then, through sheer will and tremendous work, it actually happened. This is a story, told entirely through our viewpoint, about our weird and wonderful journey, and the weird and wonderful people and culture we’ve come to know, love, and hate,” say the three founders, Jacob Åström, Tor Rauden Källstigen and Jakob Ohlsson collectively.

Production of Noko Jeans.

Noko Jeans have faced some flak for their unusual background. When Noko jeans first went on sale in Sweden, the department store involved rejected the products just a day after sales started due to criticism against the country of origin and production.

We’re eager to see how others will react to this phenomenal story and if appreciation for the brand will extend also to the wonderful craftsmanship and make of these jeans. Hopefully, we can keep an open mind and see the product for what it is; a damn good pair of pants.

Noko Jeans is founded by Jacob Åström, Tor Rauden Källstigen and Jakob Ohlsson and designed by fashion designer Julia Hederus.

– Jolin

View the campaign for Maneuvers in the Dark, as well as production pictures in the gallery below:

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