…Said my favorite designer in Havana yesterday, poignantly nailing the depth of the gulf between Cuban and American cultures. Idania, founder of a Design shop named Clandestina, may have been thinking what I thought; that blouse is like…166 years average salary in Cuba. And she actually said it!
Chanel rolled in to Havana yesterday, on the heels of Usher, the Stones, Obama, Conan, and of course the Innovadores. No word yet on Britney or the Kardashians. And while everyone is taking inspiration from Cuban colors and culture, precious few are making something of the same in a way that benefits the Cubans themselves. Obviously, the market for Chanel blouses is a bit thin in Havana, where the average salary is $20. And while the world has declared Cuba hot hot hot, Cuba itself is not not not ready for the influx.
The next phase, after the trend is declared and the infatuation is over, will be to help the the locals learn some skills and gradually chip away at the problems that befit an island in a cultural deep freeze for fifty years. That’s when the real progress will start.Besides, after one washing, a $40k blouse begins to look like one of Idiana’s recycled T’s anyways.