After bringing last year’s Resort collection to Seoul, South Korea, Karl Lagerfeld presented on Wednesday the 2017 Chanel‘s Cruise collection in Havana, Cuba.
As the country has agreed to restore relations with the U.S. and has now opened its borders, this was the first major fashion show since the 1959 Revolution, with Chanel being the first big fashion house to hold a runway show in Cuba.
— CHANEL (@CHANEL) May 4, 2016
The runway was staged in the historic Paseo del Prado, the street that divides Old and Central Havana. Celebrities, including model Gisele Bündchen, actors Vin Diesel and Tilda Swinton, attended the event in the Caribbean island, arriving on a cruise ship from Miami.
Guests were treated to a cultural tour of the city, visiting hot spots such as Ernest Hemingway’s house, and an exhibition of Karl Lagerfeld’s photographs at the Factoria Havana. They were later chauffeured to the runway in 170 vintage, bright-coloured convertibles. Fidel Castro’s 17-year-old grandson Tony, who was also present, said: ‘It is an honour for all Cubans for this big event to take place here.’
But hundred of security agents were hired to block local residents away.
Even though many viewed the show as something fresh and dreamy, some were not happy about it, especially for the fact that Chanel goods are not sold in Cuba and most citizens can’t afford them. According to Yahoo, approximately 70 percent of Cubans are employed by the state, and they’re average salary is $25 per month. Chanel items can cost more than thousands of dollars.
Karl Lagerfeld, who is the brand’s creative director since 1983, said that the collection was inspired by Cuba’s ‘cultural richness’. Bright hues, ruffles, sequined berets, Panama hats and vintage car prints were the standout elements of the Cruise line.
This time, Lagerfeld wore a jacket from the Saint Laurent Spring 2016 Men collection, designed by Hedi Slimane, fueling rumours he will be Chanel‘s new creative director.
The show ended with musicians and models dancing through the street. Guests were invited to join Lagerfeld and party in the city.
Despite the controversies, Chanel managed to put on a dazzling fashion show in the exotic Havana. Check out more photos below.