Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s pro-democracy icon and symbol of the Myanmar’s long resistance against the military junta, is now a fashion trend-setter, though probably a reluctant one.
The most popular and influential Burmese, also known as “the Lady,” is the most photographed person in the country. At every public appearance, she charms the crowds with her poise, grace and her traditional, colorful anyi (blouse) and longyi (sarong or skirt), says the Irrawaddy.
When Suu Kyi fever first took root in the 1990s, the online magazine (that’s based in Thailand) explains, Burmese ladies showed support for their heroine by ordering similar styles at their local tailors. An “Aung San Suu Kyi-style front-fastening tunic” and a “Daw Suu-inspired neckline” were typical requests.
Today, copying her fashion style is no longer just a political statement. It is the fashion rave even among the younger generation, reversing a shift toward Western-style clothes.
“Before, there was not much demand for pin ni (tunics),” a store owner at Bogyoke Aung San market told the Irrawaddy. “But now, girls are wearing the peach tunics while the boys have started wearing peach-colored tunic jackets (pin ni taik pon).”
Rangoon tailors told the magazine that many clients come into their shops bearing pictures of Suu Kyi cut out of magazines, asking for made-to-measure designs. “In fact, we collect all the pictures of Daw Suu, because some customers simply refer to the venue she was at when they request an outfit,” said a tailor from Sanchaung Township.
The public will certainly be watching to see what the Nobel laureate will be wearing when she and 42 other opposition leaders take their oath as parliamentarians in the next few days.