A day after South Korean President Moon Jae-in tweeted pictures of “Modi jackets” gifted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several Twitter users said the jackets were actually “Nehru jackets”, owner of the clothing line that sent the jackets said there are several differences between the two.
“Nehru started wearing them. Sometimes even Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel used to wear them. But the jackets came to be associated with Nehruji. During those times, when Nehruji wore these jackets, only the ultra elite wore them,” Bipin Chauhan, managing director of JadeBlue Lifestyle India Ltd, told The Indian Express.
The company is behind the creation of the “Modi Jacket” brand and has 22 stores across 18 cities in India where there is a special section that sells “Modi Jackets” and “Modi Kurtas”.
Talking about the difference between jackets worn by Nehru and Modi, Chauhan said, “There is no doubt that Modiji has popularised it and taken it to the masses. Nehruji used to largely wear white and off-white jackets. He never wore colours. Modiji brought in colours and a new design. It has become a style statement even among corporates.”
Prime Minister @narendramodi of India sent me some gorgeous garments. These are modernized versions of traditional Indian costume, known as the ‘Modi Vest’, that can also be worn easily in Korea. They fit perfectly. pic.twitter.com/3QTFIczX6H
— 문재인 (@moonriver365) October 31, 2018
According to him, Modi jackets are more “comfort-fit” and longer than the “tighter” and “shorter” Nehru jackets. He refused to elaborate on specifications of length and design. The prices of Modi Jackets in JadeBlue store range between Rs 3000-9999. “The prices can go up for customised fittings, depending on the quality of fabric,” he added.
While Chauhan confirmed that they sent the jackets gifted to the South Korean president, he refused to elaborate on this.
On Wednesday, Moon uploaded photos of him wearing the jackets and tweeted, “Prime Minister @narendramodi of India sent me some gorgeous garments. These are modernised versions of traditional costume, known as the “Modi Vest”, that can also be worn easily in Korea. They fit perfectly.”
The tweet drew criticism, with several users saying that the jackets were “Nehru jackets”. Former J&K CM Omar Abdullah tweeted: “It’s really nice of our PM to send these but could he not have sent them without changing the name? All my life I’ve known these jackets as Nehru jackets & now I find these ones have been labelled “Modi Jacket”. Clearly nothing existed in India before 2014.”