The Olympics at Rio 2016 is tiptoeing closer, and we’re beginning to see what the games will look like this year. As for France, Lacoste has kitted the country’s team out, which has also proven popular online.
Recent graduates of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba School performing at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana in February 2015. (Photo: Getty Images)
This story is part of a weeklong Yahoo series marking one year since the opening of relations between the United States and Cuba. In 1999, Elian Gonzalez was in Miami and I was on my way to Cuba. I was the newly minted fashion director at W, and we were collaborating with the American art photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia, one of the most influential photographers working today. The entire crew was incredible, in fact: Our model was Guinevere Van Seenus, and we had Dick Page on makeup and Serge Normant on hair.
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.
I took a direct Sun Country charter flight from New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Havana’s José Martí International Airport, where most of my flight companions were Americans on a tour, Cuban Americans visiting families, or artists coming to the Biennial Art Exhibition. As a 24 year old, I don’t remember ever navigating around unfamiliar territories without at least GPS in my car or Google Maps, but in Cuba, my iPhone was a brick. It was in Cuba that I learned to march up to strangers and ask for directions, haggle for an air conditioned car to drive me 100 miles, and knock on random houses in the middle of town squares to ask for spare bedrooms. It was surprisingly easy and cheap, and I met many young people traveling across Cuba in the same way, too.
In August 2015, the United States embassy re-opened in Cuba after 54 years — but traveling to Cuba, the largest country in the Caribbean, is still restricted for U.S. citizens. Beyond its capital city of Havana, the island country of Cuba is dotted by many towns and cities with original French and Spanish colonial architecture, glistening white beaches, and lushly tropical mountain ranges which have hosted guerilla warfare since the resistance of the Taínos in the 1500s. It’s been said Cuba is gearing up for big fundamental changes now that diplomatic relations with the U.S. have re-opened, so here are 20 photos of Cuba, from Havana to Santiago, as of May 2015.
Photography by Annie Leibovitz For Vanity Fair’s November issue, Robyn Rihanna Fenty traveled to newly-opened Cuba to explore fashion’s favorite island with Annie Leibovitz. Not only did Rihanna take it all off, she also opened up, revealing her thoughts on Chris Brown and Rachel Dolezal, her favorite TV shows, men these days, dating, sex, and so much more. Her favorite restaurant in Los Angeles is Giorgio Baldi and she’s really good at ordering (she had three half-portions of spaghetti pomodoro with basil, gnocchi, and ravioli). “Legit, I have been in the gym every day this week because I am not willing to give up my food.
Tulum, Nicaragua, and even Asia can forget about it, fashion has a new love and her name is Cuba. Now that relations with the Cuban government have eased, people are flocking to the country to see its rich and colorful culture, including Havana’s incredible 16th century architecture, the 1950s American-made cars, salsa fun, and the inspiring music of the famous Tropicana club. Yes it is! Ever since President Obama announced a diplomatic revival with Cuba a few months back, the fashion pack booked and hopped over the Straits of Florida to (legally) experience firsthand what this incredible country has to offer. First up was Stella McCartney who went all out and threw a Cuban soiree, even going so far as to invite actors portraying Fidel Castro and Che Guevara to come out and enjoy mojitos and chocolate cigars.