North Korea is always a controversial subject—and so is Dennis Rodman. When the former basketball player and reality star went to visit the country on a trip sponsored by marijuana currency company potcoin.com, onlookers were left scratching their heads.
DuJour sat down with Rodman immediately following his return from the country led by Kim Jong-un. We asked questions to clear some confusion, and Rodman gave us a bit of insight on what he saw in the country so shielded from our side of the world.
How do the people of North Korea perceive you?
You think you’re a famous athlete over here, well, you feel really small when you go over there. People don’t even know you. You think that you’re cool in America, that you can go anywhere and people recognize you, want your autograph and pictures. You go over there, and they just walk right past you.
What was your first impression of the people of North Korea?
They work very hard and they take pride in the simple things in life. Whatever their job is, they do it to the best of their ability. I’m not sure anyone there knows how to be lazy, they have a lot of focus. The citizens there are very kind … but it’s like you’d think these people have a spell on them because all they talk about is him [Kim Jong-un.] I mean it’s insane. I am so intrigued about how they live their lives through this guy … and he is only, like, 33, 34 years old. He is changing North Korea so much it is really becoming a 24th-century country now — it’s more like they took down the Flintstone Age and put in the Jetsons. Out with the old, in with the new.
Where do you stay when you’re there?
I stay in a nice hotel … it’s been there for 200 years. I stay in the Jimmy Carter suite—it’s all marble.
Has traveling around the world influenced your fashion?
I always get ideas from what I see around the world. I just try to keep it real and throw together what I think works.
What’s shopping like there? Are there recognizable brands there or do they have their own goods?
Shopping there is all their own brands. Everything there definitely has that homemade feel. Whether it’s clothing or anything, it’s all pretty much made there.
Are you still interested in fashion and luxury or are you more interested in world culture and events?
You know me … I like to mix fashion and luxury into world events and culture. If I can do that, then I’m onto something.
All images: Monica Schipper/Getty Images