Cuba is perhaps best known for its high quality cigars and growing tourist industry. However, the country also has a growing fashion industry that is catching the interest of many people all over the world.
Cuban fashion designers are starting to gain fame and prominence. International designers are starting to take note of the beauty of Cuban styles and fashion and are using it as an inspiration for their creations. Following is a general overview of what the Cuban fashion industry has to offer.
Fashion Shows and Festivals
Cuba has a number of fashion shows and festivals where clothing designers can show off their unique creations. the two best known shows of this nature are “La Maison Fashion” and “Exuberarte”. La Maison Fashion takes place in Havana while Exuberarte is held in Santa Clara.
The La Maison Fashion Show has been around for the last twenty years and takes place in an elegant former mansion that has since been turned into an elegant mini-complex with fashion stores, jewelry and accessories for sale. The complex is known throughout Cuba for being one of the top places to shop for fashionable clothes.
The fashion show features a runway show and a modest cabaret show. There are also weekend fashion shows for those who are interested.
Exuberarte is an annual fashion event that is managed by the Cuban Fund of Cultural Assets. Designers from all over the country participate in the show. Besides having a look at the latest styles on the fashion walkways, you will able to purchase clothing and other items for sale. Exuberarte is unique and is not just a fashion event but also features art collections and a trade fair.
Cuban Fashion Designers
Cuban-American fashion designers such as Lazaro Hernandez, Narciso Rodriguez and Isabel Toledo have made a name for themselves and have become successful fashion designers in the United States. In fact, both Narciso Rodrigues and Isabel Toledo are known to be favorite fashion designers for first lady Michelle Obama.
However, unlike Cuban fashion designers who have gotten their start on the island, most Cuban American fashion design companies have started in the United State
Local fashioners Alida Gutierrez, Osmany Laffita and Evidio Perdomo are becoming better known both in Cuba and internationally. Two particularly well known international Cuban designers are Abraham Garcia (better known by his first name only) and Raoul Castillo. These two Cuban designers got their start on the island and have since risen to international fame and prominence.
Clothing Brand Names Available in Cuba
A person who wants to buy clothing in Cuba should not expect to find all the brand names that are available in the United States. The United States has had an embargo on Cuba since the 1960s and this has impeded the sale of American products to the island nation. However, some well known clothing brand names such as Nike and Jordache are easy to find. Needless to say, Cuban clothing made by local clothing designers mentioned above can also be found for sale on the island.
It is also possible to find high end clothing for sale on the island. Those who come to the island looking for clothing made by Calvin Klein, Reebok, Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger and Levi’s will not be disappointed. Well known fashion designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Paco Rabanne have staged fashion shows in Havana and these have been attended by both a local and international audience. However, those who purchase clothing made by well known international brand names should expect to pay in dollars as opposed to Cuban Pesos.
A person who is interested in purchasing brand name clothing in Cuba should be aware that there are numerous fakes for sale on the island. If you want to make sure the clothing you are buying is genuine, then it is best to stick to shopping at high end boutiques, malls and clothing stores inside well known hotels. The price of a piece of clothing will also denote if it is genuinely made by the brand name in question or is a fake. If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
While the Cuban fashion industry is not yet well known on an international level, it is alive and well. Local Cuban fashion designers have created many beautiful clothing styles for men and women alike.
Visitors to Cuba will be able to enjoy visiting local fashion shows at low cost or even for free. International fashion designers such as Castillo and Abraham got their start on the island and the islands style of fashion continues to inspire the fashion industry around the world. All in all, Cuba has much to offer the fashion industry the world over.