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Samsung chief's puffer vest sells out in one day

Lee Jae-yong wears a Samsung brand publicly for the first time

Dec. 23, 2022 - 16:38 By Lee Seung-ku
Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Jae-yong (right) faces reporters on Wednesday at Gimpo International Airport, wearing a Beanpole puffer vest, before boarding a chartered Korean Air flight to Vietnam to attend the inauguration ceremony of a Samsung R&D center. (Yonhap)

A simple puffer vest worn by Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Jae-yong stole the limelight when the business mogul appeared at Gimpo International Airport on Wednesday, with the item selling out online just one day later.

Lee, who usually dresses in formal Western business attire for official engagements, was headed for Vietnam to participate in an inauguration ceremony for a newly built Samsung Research and Development center. The mobile device R&D center is the company's largest in Southeast Asia.

The dark gray vest, officially priced at 439,000 won ($342), is a product of Beanpole, the apparel brand of Samsung Group’s fashion unit Samsung C&T. It is the first time Lee has appeared in front of the press sporting Samsung’s fashion brand.

Photos of the Samsung chief wearing his own brand garnered much interest from consumers. As of Thursday morning, the vest was sold out on Samsung C&T’s online shopping mall SSF Shop. The online mall is accepting preorders for the vest for the time being.

It is not the first time Lee’s fashion made headlines. A pair of Skechers shoes Lee wore to court on Dec. 1, and a red Arc’teryx padded coat he wore in 2019, also went viral.

Lee has fostered for himself the image of a “humble” business leader, often seen posing for photos with employees and queuing to eat at the company cafeteria.

The online fanbase for Lee, who has been trying to build a direct connection with the younger generation, has been growing steadily. An Instagram fan account with the handle "jaeyong3831," which documents the chaebol scion's public appearances, has over 265,000 followers, as of Friday.