These Sunnies Are Throwing Shade at Kim Jong Un. (No, Really.)
You're more than familiar with the buy one, give one concept by now. Buy a pair of Toms, and a kid will get shoes. Buy an Amour Vert tee, and the Earth will get a tree. Buy Bombas socks, and someone in need will get a pair, too. But what about buying sunglasses to overthrow a dictator? For that type of social consciousness, you turn to Danish eyewear brand Dear Leader.
Thanks to the media—and the comical stylings of Seth Rogen and James Franco in The Interview— you recognize that Kim Jong Un is the kind of guy a certain Twitter-prone POTUS might refer to as a "bad hombre." American student Otto Warmbier's death this week is our most recent western reminder of that point.* But the folks inside North Korea? They don't have that information. Dear Leader founder Johan Stahl is trying to change that.
Stahl had the idea for Dear Leader after traveling to North Korea in 2006 to work on the documentary The Red Chapel. "One day was especially heartbreaking: we visited a kindergarten and were presented with lines of beautiful three to-four-year-old children marching and singing, 'Kim Jung Il we’ll die for you,'" he recalls. "Ever since I visited the country, I’ve wanted to find a way to help the real people of North Korea."
Stahl is helping is by supporting organizations working to bring down North Korea's regime from the inside. Dear Leader donates $10 from every purchase to Flashdrives for Freedom or Rimjin-Gang— groups trying to send information in to the people of North Korea, or get reports about life in country out to the rest of the world.
Beyond the social consciousness aspect of the brand, they also make really good sunglasses. Although they're only available at brick and mortar stores in Denmark, the brand ships free worldwide. (Returns are free, too.) Styles, priced $110–$230, include classic aviators, oversized frames, cat eyes, and some crazy-cool round frames. (I particularly like this grey tortoiseshell pair.)
Face it: you're going to drop some cash on sunnies this summer. Why not throw shade at a ruthless dictator in the process? The folks in North Korea will hopefully, eventually thank you.
*Warmbier, if you haven't been reading the Skimm, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor after being found guilty of trying to steal a propaganda poster from a Pyongyang hotel during a January 2016 visit to North Korea. He is the first American to die from injuries sustained during North Korean captivity.