October 17, 2016

hISTORY eNDS EVERYWHERE:

Homegrown fashion industry bursts onto scene in Cuba (ANDREA RODRIGUEZ, 10/17/16, Associated Press)

Like so much else in Cuba, shopping for clothes isn't easy.

Buying a simple pair of socks or a T-shirt means choosing between the wildly overpriced, shoddy offerings of state-run stores and the bales of low-priced clothing illegally imported by "mules" traveling from the United States, Ecuador or Panama.

This year, a third option is bursting onto the scene after years of growing quietly in backroom workshops and bedroom studios. A small homegrown fashion industry is winning renown and an increasing share of Cubans' limited clothing budget with simple but fun-and-stylish clothing produced on the island with natural fabrics and sold at competitive prices.

Hundreds of private designers are turning out gauzy wedding dresses, brilliantly decorated bathing suits, linen pants and even uniforms for state businesses. Last week, dozens of designers displayed their wares at the five-day Havana Fashion Week at Cuba's most elegant theaters, where hundreds turned out for runway shows, private fittings and cocktail parties.

"The changes that have taken place in this country, the openings, make things easier," said Jesus Frias, a designer who put on a swimwear runway show on Friday. "There's a fashion renaissance in Cuba but it can't be a priority for the state, so it's we private designers who are bringing it back."

Posted by at October 17, 2016 4:44 PM

  

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