The Korean leader's photos showed jackets in four colours and the label – "MODI jacket".
The vests gifted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to South Korean President Moon Jae-in has stirred a huge debate on Twitter on how the jackets should be described.
On Friday, the company which presented the vests to the South Korean president offered its justification. "Originally, these were 'bandhgala' (closed neck) jackets. They were worn by Nehru and even Sardar Patel. But the ones we sell are Modi Jackets. It is a bit longer and more comfortable in fit than Nehru Jackets," said Bipin Chauhan, managing director of JadeBlue Lifestyle India which sent the vests to the South Korean leader.
Mr Chauhan added that the older version was sold in off-white and black shades but PM Modi prefers a wider colour palette. "Modiji has created a brand. It has become popular after 2014," he said. Mr Chauhan said he has been designing and making PM Modi's clothes since 1989.
On October 31, Moon Jae-in tweeted pictures of the sleeveless jackets, to be worn on a kurta.
Prime Minister @narendramodi of India sent me some gorgeous garments. These are modernized versions of traditional Indian costume, known as the 'Modi Vest', that can also be worn easily in Korea. They fit perfectly. pic.twitter.com/3QTFIczX6H
– 문재인 (@moonriver365) October 31, 2018
Within minutes, the Twitterverse erupted with reminders that the vests had been known in India under a different name.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted:
It's really nice of our PM to send these but could he not have sent them without changing the name? All my life I've known these jackets as Nehru jackets & now I find these ones have been labelled "Modi Jacket". Clearly nothing existed in India before 2014. https://t.co/MOa0wY37tr
– Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) October 31, 2018
Mr. President, You are wrong. This is not Modi Vest, this is Nehru jacket. Modi is no Nehru, can never be one. If anything Modi, that is Khaki Nikkar. https://t.co/8DrZ8b1RVM
— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) October 31, 2018
Mr Chauhan, however, had an explanation to counter them. "In the past, these jackets, worn by Nehru and Sardar, were considered premium apparel for the elite. Now Modi-ji has popularised them among the masses, he said.
In 2012, the Nehru jacket was listed in Time magazine's top 10 global fashion list.
(with additional inputs from PTI)