According to the Korean middle school North Face rankings, this gentleman would be a “rich gang member.”

“According to a Korean blog post that made the rounds late last month, North Face jacket wearers can be immediately classified according to the type of North Face jacket they wear. This is apparently a common phenomenon in elementary and middle schools in particular, where the jackets are so popular they have been dubbed “the uniform worn over the uniform,” or “backbreakers,” (thus called for the work put in by parents in order to afford the jackets for their children).

The rankings also specify what type of student should be wearing which specific type of North Face jacket.

At the bottom of the scale is the North Face Nuptse 2, cost ₩250,000 (approximately US$220), which is generally worn by “losers” (찌질이).

Next on the list is the “common” Nuptse 1, worn both by “losers” and “gang members” (일진).

Two categories up is the Dry Loft, ₩470,000. “Losers don’t wear the jackets starting from this category because they’re afraid of having them swiped by gang members.”

At the top, priced at ₩700,000 is the “rare” Himalayan Down Parka, the most expensive model worn by “the boss.”

As laughable as this list may seem, according to some students it simply puts into words what remains unspoken in school halls.

Puffy down outdoor jackets are increasingly becoming symbols of class division and targets of school violence ”


Say what? Kids in Korea are ranking their peers based on what North Face jacket they’re rocking? Materialism in Korea is probably one of the highest in the world but this shit just takes things to another level. I didn’t even have a North Face jacket in middle…I guess that puts me one under the “loser” category. Were any of ya’ll “boss” status?

  • Dave

    And my dad was just telling me how Korea spent a couple billi on Northface gear. For this?! lol

  • Ant

    If this was in the US, TNF would be banned.

  • http://Website KC

    “Elementary and middle schools” should be changed to “middle and high schools”. Also, 일진 doesn’t mean “gang members”, they’re more like the school’s “toughest” guys/girls, who can usually fight the best. They’re what we’d call the school’s biggest bullies.

  • Dave

    ^ yup. We were quoting the article but you’re absolutely right! Thanks