Chanel Goes to Havana


On May 3, 2016, French fashion house Chanel staged its show in Havana (along Paseo del Prado)—the first international fashion show since the 1959 Cuban Revolution. See excerpts of the BBC article below. Lagerfeld said the line was inspired by Cuba’s “cultural richness.” As a counterpoint to this article, I recommend reading Negra cubana tenía que ser’s article—“Carmen Fiol: Haute couture cubana”—which highlights the beauty of Fiol’s craft. As we see in the article, Fiol, who is 92 years old, combines modern lines with the exquisite details of the traditional lace work of the Hispanic Caribbean. It would have been interesting to see Cuban models with Chanel outfits and Chanel models with Cuban-made outfits such as Carmen Fiol’s. [Both links, which include articles and videos, can be found below.]


World celebrities gathered at a leafy promenade turned into a catwalk for the firm’s Cruise collection, even though Chanel goods are not sold in Cuba. Ordinary Cubans were held behind police lines around the event venue, and many voiced their frustration. The show is the latest sign in Cuba’s warming relations with the West.

[. . .] Celebrities—including actor Vin Diesel and supermodel Gisele Bundchen—attended the show at the Prado promenade to see Chanel’s leading designer Karl Lagerfeld displaying the new collection.


Lagerfeld said the line was inspired by Cuba’s “cultural richness”. But Havana residents could only watch from behind the security cordon lines as VIP guests arrived at the show in specially rented antique American sedans. “It’s a shame they don’t let us pass,” aspiring local model Reinaldo Fonseca was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency. Chanel goods would cost well beyond the average Cuban wage of $25 (£17) a month, the BBC’s Will Grant says.

For full BBC article, see

For Negra cubana… article and video, see

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