11 July 2024

Late much-revered Thai Buddhist monk Luang Phor Koon means many things to many people. He is a teacher, a guide, a spiritual leader, among others.

Recently, he has also been made a pop icon by one of the largest and most popular street fashion brands in the world. Supreme, of New York, decided to feature the revered monk on its parka in its spring and summer collection.

ThaiPBS World also talked to an expert in Buddhism studies, Surapot Taweesak, who told us that Buddhist or religious elements in pop culture, such as Luang Phor Koon and his yantra being screen printed on Supreme brand jackets, are healthy for transformation to a secular, liberal democracy, meaning the society is open to more freedom of religion where different beliefs are respected.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s street fashion expert Anupong Kittikul explains it is common for the fashion brand to feature different or unique cultures on its products.

Report by Chalanlak Chanwanpen, Thai PBS World