Now you can wear the “tandemocracy” of Putin, whose latest claim to fame is that he’s a fashion icon, and he’s retro if nothing else.
He’s already the richest man in the world, unofficially, with an estimated net worth of $200 billion.
Officially, his financial disclosures show him as having earned $135,000 in 2018 from the combination of his official salary, military pension, interest on savings and investment gains.
When he retires, he’s not likely to have to live on the average Russian pension of $210 a month.
He could live off the royalties of his cult of personality for an eternity.
And now he can definitively add fashion icon to that cult.
Welcome to the Putin Team Store.
(Click to enlarge)
Source: Vesti News, Youtube
Putin follows in the footsteps of Peter the Great, Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev and other “Fathers of the Nation” that have also been the subject of the Russian infatuation with the cult of personality. Yeltsin, not so much.
And “Putin mania” has never before hit such a high level.
Courtesy of multi-brand fashion store Aizel of Moscow, the latest designs, launched in honor of the Russian president’s 67th birthday, will open its doors to the “Team Putin” brand for only one month.
The store features wardrobe collections with the likeness of Putin, as well as a host of other uber-patriotic products.
While it is reported that Putin celebrates his birthdays’ outdoors with friends and family, usually the nation tends to get more creative, such as organizing concerts, art exhibits. A Russian lawmaker recently suggested making Putin's birthday a national holiday.
Earlier this year, a Putin calendar emerged as a bestseller, featuring the best of the president’s testosterone-filled shots--from tiger-tranquilizing and just being a normal fellow to random shirtless jaunts through the fields. Related: Three Stocks To Watch Ahead Of Earnings Season
While some people may have purchased a Putin calendar as a joke, or a cool gimmick to have on the wall, many buy them out of idol worship, and particularly in rural Russia, where Putin is a religious icon.
Even in Japan, Putin’s calendars are proving more popular than those of Japanese actor Kei Tanaka or reigning Olympic men’s figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu. Apparently, most of the buyers there are women, drawn to Putin’s Orthodox yet very unorthodox leadership style and his shameless shows of testosterone.
But in Russia, his face is everywhere, and thanks to the digital revolution, it’s becoming a global phenomenon. Many the world over have seen images of him flying in a fighter jet over Chechnya or putting a tracker on a polar bear.
Even if everything seems to be staged, no one seems to care. In 2011, Putin “discovered" fragments of two ancient Greek urns under the Black Sea and his spokesperson later said that they were planted weeks before for him to find it.
Still, from time to time, footage emerges where he is presented as a regular human being, but those usually go underreported, if not erased.
So, for anyone in need of a last-minute anniversary gift, retro Putin might just be it. It’s fashion over politics on this one, which is exactly when we know that the cult of personality has taken control.
As a Christmas stocking idea, there is a 400-page book of “Words That Change the World,” featuring Putin quotes. It was sent to members of the Federal Assembly as a New Year’s gift from the Kremlin. The book is now available on Amazon for $10.
By Tom Kool for Oilprice.com