Fidel Castro’s passing brings to a close an important period in world history: the era of bold fashion choices by world leaders. From his cigars and uniforms to his late-in-life love of tracksuits, Castro knew how to project a brash image. But with Muammar Qaddafi departed, and Mao suits long since replaced by Western business wear, the geopolitical world has entered a period of sartorial blandness. Even Barack Obama was willing to put on a silly shirt for the annual APEC summit. #MAGA hats notwithstanding, it’s hard to imagine Donald Trump following in his footsteps. For that matter, when have you seen Trump without a tie or a golf shirt? And yet, a few stalwarts are hanging on to their eccentricities. Here are some of the world leaders who remain committed to their affectations.
5. Salva Kiir. Where did George W. Bush leave his greatest mark on the world? In fashion, at least, the answer is South Sudan. The U.S. president reportedly gave a black Stetson to Kiir back in 2006, and the South Sudanese president has rarely been photographed without a cowboy hat on since.
4. Alexander Lukashenko. The man known as Europe’s last dictator dresses as you would largely expect from a post-Soviet apparatchik: sharkskin suits, greatcoats, military uniforms. But he has one favored accessory: his teenage son Kolya, who is rumored to be in line for succession. The two often appear in public in matching outfits. Suits? Yep. Military uniforms? You bet. Kolya has even been spotted with the true dictator’s accessory: a golden gun. Maybe this one isn’t so funny.