KARL LAGERFELD and Chanel conquer the artisan hearts of CUBA
BY JULIA ASPHAR
Leave it to Karl Lagerfeld to make a bold first move for Cuba. As prelude to his upcoming 2016/17 Cruise collection, which was presented May 3rd in Havana, Lagerfeld has opened an art exhibition entitled“Obra en Proceso / Work in Progress” at Factoría Habana, as part of the month of French culture in Cuba.
The exhibit of over 200 unmounted photographs is on display until May 12th, and is spread across three sections of gallery space, each representing the three elements Lagerfeld found inspiration in: fashion, architecture, and landscapes.
It was wise for Lagerfeld and company to get ahead of the resort showing and build positive relations in Cuba, which understandably has cynicism towards the increased outpour of international commercialism looking to gain a foothold in the territory. The show both inspires and informs during a time of identity crisis in a country learning to regrow demand and a consumer base. Chanel’s move was a smart choice and strengthened future relationships with locals.
As for the Cruise Collection, it is well fitting that a selection of both modern and old world fashion is unveiled in the time capsule of Cuba. “It’s a cosmopolitan take on local fashion,” said Lagerfeld. Future fashion in Cuba is a blank space and up for interpretation, which Chanel hopes to occupy.