Can you picture Karl Lagerfeld smoking a Cuban and wearing a fedora? Photo: Getty Images
Chanel is showing its next collection in Cuba. The brand’s love of travel is legendary: Its Spring/Summer 2016 show featured a set made to look like a giant airpot, cleverly dubbed Chanel Airlines, Terminal 2C, while the arrivals and departure board listed all of the cities in which Karl Lagerfeld’s shown previous Chanel collections: Seoul, Dubai, Rome, Tokyo, Singapore, to name a slew.
But Havana’s a whole different story. On May 3rd, Chanel will show its 2016/17 Cruise collection in the newly opened capital. It will be the first major fashion house to stage any event—let alone a runway spectacular—in the country, meaning editors, celebrities, and plenty of attention will be turned to a still controversial place that might be rich in culture, but remains economically challenged.
“The cultural richness and opening up of Cuba is a source of inspiration for Karl Lagerfeld and CHANEL,” read a statement from the luxury label. He’s not the only one. Since President Obama reopened Cuba almost a year ago, a long list of brands have looked to the tropical destination for inspiration. From Proenza Schouler to Stella McCartney, there’ve been floral prints, army looks, and ruffles galore. There’s plenty for Lagerfeld to play with, but for a country whose style is essentially stuck in the ‘50s, how about sexy shoes, hourglass silhouettes, and tropical prints? Que bueno!