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International Journal of Interdisciplinary Research

Fashion and Textiles Cover Image

Table 1 Characteristic of interviewees

From: Clothing acculturation of North Korean female defectors in South Korea

Interview participant Age group Settlement period in South Korea (years) Personal economic condition
in NK
Fashion sensitivity Self-identity Clothing acculturation type Key statements
A 30s 5–7  Low High South Korea-oriented Assimilation “(When buying a cloth,) the most important thing is style, and second is price and then quality”
“Because I became a South Korean, I think I should follow South Korean fashion trend unconditionally”
B 20s 3–5  Low High South Korea-oriented Assimilation “I love shopping and have a lot of interest in fashion”
“I don’t want to look like a person from North Korea. I just want to be a real South Korean”
C 30s 1–3  High High South Korea-oriented Assimilation “I have been interested in fashion since I lived in North Korea. I wore Japanese clothes or some unique clothes imported from China, and even from South Korea”
“I want to look like a native South Korean. I will change my outfit fast”
D 30s More than 7  Low Mid Independent Assimilation “I realized my identity and my personality. I was satisfied with being either a South Korean or a North Korean … I just want to be a real human being”
“I learned all South Korean clothing culture from friends when I lived in a dormitory in a university”
E 30s More than 7 years High High South Korea-oriented Assimilation “My parents were a member of the party in NK … I wore good clothes”
“I attended a beauty school to learn make-up in SK … NK make-up style was old-fashioned, but SK style is sophisticated and diverse”
F 40s 1–3 years High Low Independent Integration “I don’t want to hide my North Korean identity. I want to let others know that I came from North Korea so that they can understand me”
“I prefer North Korean Han-bok. North Korean Han-bok looks more beautiful”
G 30s More than 7 years Low Mid Independent Integration “At first, I tried to become like a native South Korean … but after I realized my identity, I’m okay whether I look like North Korean or South Korean”
“I still don’t wear destroyed jeans, but never judge others”
H 20s 5–7 years High High Independent Integration “I earned enough because I was a professional dancer in NK … I sometimes saw South Korean movies so I was accustomed to South Korean fashion trend already”
“North Korean Han-bok is light and soft, but South Korean is stiff and too formal”
I 20s Less than 1 year Mid Mid Independent Integration “Even though I wear like South Koreans, I could not change totally into a native South Korean. I don’t care about how others think”
“I sometimes look for sequins because I had been accustomed with that in NK”
J 30s 5–7 years Mid Mid Independent Integration “I don’t want to pretend to be a native South Korean … I opened my identity when finding my job, and I have no experience of discrimination until now”
“I try to learn South Korean cosmetic style, but my old habit habituated since living in North Korea is hard to change”
K 30s 5–7 years Mid Low Skeptical Marginalization “I was sometimes discriminated in South Korea. Sometimes I think it would be better to live in foreign country”
“I think I don’t have to refer any other’s fashion style”