In Japan, Jailhouse Chic Rules Fashion

Aprons, bags made by convicts are hot sellers this season
By Green Point,  Newser User
Posted Jul 17, 2008 6:53 PM CDT
Manager Mariko Yoshida works at her bar wearing a "made-in-jail" apron in Tokyo's bustling entertainment district of Shinjuku Wednesday, July 16, 2008.    (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

(Newser) – Japan's fashion-forward set is flocking to a line made by an unlikely group—prison inmates. Aprons, bags, and pouches emblazoned with the character for "jail" inside a circle are selling out just as quickly as inmates at a juvenile prison in Hokkaido can make them, the AP reports. "Especially, young people seem to like it," said a corrections official.

Initially sold as souvenirs for prison tourists, the items took off when they were sold at a Tokyo outlet store. Now, the corrections department's website is sold out of anything with the logo, turning a tidy profit for the department, if not the inmates. Aprons with the logo cost about $12, and 5,300 of them have been snapped up so far. (Read more fashion stories.)