Cuban Fashion Outfits and Trends
In 2014, then US President Obama struck a deal to reopen ties with Cuba. Since then tourism has soared. Cuba is one of the hottest travel destinations in the world right now and the flow on effect means its food, music and fashion has flourished too.
Cuba is changing rapidly. It's not all cigars, classic vintage cars and ruffled skirts. What's cool and recognisable about modern Cuban style clothing is the blend of vibrant hues mixed with a BOHO vibe. Let's a look at the colourful - and eminently Instagrammable - styles of Cuban fashion.
1. Sexy Cool Pleats
This Ferragamo dress from 2016 combines elements of old Cuba in a modern way, the bright colours, and ruffles of the past with today's pleats. Extra beautiful on if you have warm or darker skin tones.
2. Cuban denim and shirt
A very Cuban themed take on an old classic teaming of denim and an off-the-shoulder tee. Nothing says Cuban style more than pairing some jeans and ruffles on the top. Finishing it off with a bandana used as a belt.
3. Figure hugging Cuban Style Dress
While not flowy and flouncy, this figure hugging look still spells CUBAN in big letters. With nary a ruffled skirt in sight, it's the colours, it's the bandana, it's the accessories that leave no doubt this is Cuban themed dress. Breaking up the stripes with a printed jacket adds a little quirkiness.
4. Tropical elegance
This outfit manages the Cuban look all on its own. Even without mentioning the accessories, this two-piece is a salute to the Caribbean, incorporating its colours, tropical florals and a lightweight flowing cut.
5. Retro Cuban Style
The 50's were an era of unparalleled style throughout the world, and Cuba was no exception. Although Castro closed its borders in 1961, 50s fashion made its way well and truly to the streets of Havana. What makes this an instantly recognisable Cuban look is the vibrant red and contrasting bandana.
6. Chanel? In Havana?
French fashion house Chanel staged Cuba's first fashion show since it reopened its borders in 2016. Parading down the main street of Havana was this outfit. An outfit that totally gets the mood of the city with its total mash-up of colour, a retro and Caribbean beads all capped off with fedora.
7. Sexy Salsa Inspired Cuban Style Dress
Looking like she just stepped off the dancefloor, this fashionista has got Cuban fashion down pat. this dressy yet casual look is ubiquitous and would work in either old or new Havana.
8. Cuban style Playsuit
The print on this fabric does 90% the work. The contrasting colours and purple and pink flowers equal tropical but it's the grey fedora that seals the deal and the final 10%. We give extra points for the great accessories too.
9. African Inspired Cuban Style
With Africa its closest neighbour to the east, Cuba has always drawn on parts of this culture.
It's the origin of the bandana which is so very synonymous with Cuban fashion. This look blends a Spanish style full skirt and bikini with chunky accessories and a bold head wrap and pulls off Cuban brilliantly.
10. Cuban Beach Look
Anyone can put this look together quickly and cheaply:
Step 1. Put on your brightest bikini top
Step 2. Wrap a bandana around your head
Step 3. Insert large hoop earrings
Aaaaand you're done. Oh, but don't forget to put your bikinki bottoms on too.
Where to buy authentic Cuban street fashion online.
There are many places online that'll help you create the look. French Connection currently stocks not only bandanas but an entire Cuban clothing range.
Large hoop earrings are in just about every costume jewellery shop you care to visit and fedoras are equally attainable. But if it's hardcore, authentic Cuban street fashion you are after, look no further than Clandestina. It's the first Cuban fashion brand to sell online. With Raul Castro loosening up trade embargos they are able to ship right to Australia. This uber cool company is a team of entrepreneurial artists, designers and creators. They make tees tanks and prints out of anything they can get their hands on. Truly original stuff.
Famous Cuban designers who made a name outside of Cuba.
These fashion designers have earned well deserved global recognition and made the world curious, not just about Cuban clothing, but it's culture. These are the top names to look out for.
1. Narcisco Rodriguez
Born American from Cuban ancestry, he is Cuba's most renowned fashion designer.
Interestingly, Narciso Rodriguez's trademark style is his no-frills tailoring and silhouettes. This is due to the fact he trained in New York and not Cuba. He is much adored for his amazing precision at sculpting sheaths with a flattering bombshell fit. His seductive design made him a household name, and, dressing Michelle Obama for her first public appearance as First Lady sealed the deal.
2. Isabel Toledo
Toledo is a Cuban born American fashion designer who has several collaborations with Anne Klein under her belt. An award-winning fashion designer, she is mostly known for designing casual clothes that cater to women with a voluptuous physique. Toledo has collaborated with plus size casual clothing brand, Lane Bryant, which ships to Australia.
3. Idania Del Rio & Leire Fernandez
These entrepreneurial gals are the brains behind Clandestina, a recycled statement tee shirt and print shop. Established on a shoestring in 2015 and operating out of Old Havana, they have made their mark on the world with their tongue-to-cheek motifs and graphics.