Get that Obama or Xi 'Mao suit' look for $57 on Chinese web

This file photo taken on Nov 10, 2014 shows leaders and their spouses of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) economies posing for a "family photo" at the Beijing National Aquatics Center in the Chinese capital. Chinese traders are offer
This file photo taken on Nov 10, 2014 shows leaders and their spouses of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) economies posing for a "family photo" at the Beijing National Aquatics Center in the Chinese capital. Chinese traders are offering the chance to get that "world leader look" by selling copies of the garb worn by Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping at this week's Apec summit in Beijing. -- PHOTO: AFP
(From left) Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, his wife Peng Liyuan and US President Barack Obama walk before the ceremonial reception held for members of the Apec Economic Leaders' Meeting
(From left) Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, his wife Peng Liyuan and US President Barack Obama walk before the ceremonial reception held for members of the Apec Economic Leaders' Meeting on Nov 10, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - Chinese traders are offering the chance to get that "world leader look" by selling copies of the garb worn by Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping at this week's Apec summit in Beijing.

While the silky high-collared tunics were based on the traditional "Mao suits" once beloved by Chinese leaders, social media commentators outside the country joked that they resembled the uniforms worn in the sci-fi TV show Star Trek.

Only days after the leaders donned the national dress for a "family photo" - a tradition of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation gathering - China's agile entrepreneurs and its huge Internet marketplace were already selling replicas online.

"They are very popular, but the customer has to wait 20 days to receive the goods because we need to make them," one retailer selling the tunics for 268 yuan (S$57) told AFP.

One shop took up to 30 orders for the clothes in just half a day, according to the Beijing News, which also noted in its report Thursday that the garments' price had gone up by about 50 percent in 24 hours.

"This is definitely going to be a popular item as Big Xi wore it," one retailer told the newspaper, using a commonly used nickname for the barrel-chested Chinese leader.

The Apec custom began in 1993 when former US President Bill Clinton handed out leather bomber jackets to leaders in Seattle, and has seen some unusual fashion choices, including Peruvian ponchos that were compared to potato sacks.