Chanel holds historic fashion show in Cuba

Chanel’s vibrant Cuban-inspired Cruise collection debuted on the streets of Havana this week.

It’s a hot May night as crowds amass quietly, waiting patiently on San Cristóbal Cathedral square in Cuba. Suddenly, live music fills the streets. The Ibeyi Sisters, a pair of French-Cuban twin sisters Lisa‑Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz, sing in English and Yoruba. Their powerful vocals rise in the dry night air as Stella Tennant appears at the end of the Paseo del Prado catwalk. This is how the historical Chanel fashion show, debuting the Cruise 2016/17 line, begins.

Karl Lagerfeld with his godson at the Prado promenade in Havana.

Karl Lagerfeld with his godson at the Prado promenade in Havana. Adalberto Roque | AFP | Getty Images

Vanessa et Karl Lagerfeld, 2016. #vanessaparadis #beauty #paris #model #singer #france #frenchgirl #chanel #karllagerfeld #love

A photo posted by Vanessa Paradis, fan page. (@vanessaparadis__) on

#ChanelCruiseCuba #CocoCuba

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“It’s a cosmopolitan take on local fashion,” says Karl Lagerfeld, who has been taking his Cruise collections abroad since 2006. Last year’s destination was Seoul, South Korea. This year, Cuba felt like the next natural step for the iconic fashion house. According to Chanel, “Every silhouette is a representation of a new reality mixing old and new worlds, modernity, and a personal interpretation.”

That care and culture is apparent in the colorful details and stunning fabrics in these six looks (below) from the show’s runway. Our favorite detail? That each outfit was also paired with a coordinating hat, either a tilted Cuban fedora, an embellished beret, or a colorful headscarf.

Chanel Cruise Collection 2016/2017

Thomas Concordia | WireImage

Chanel Cruise Collection 2016/2017

Thomas Concordia | WireImage

Chanel Cruise Collection 2016/2017

Thomas Concordia | WireImage

Chanel Cruise Collection 2016/2017

Thomas Concordia | WireImage

Chanel Cruise Collection 2016/2017

Thomas Concordia | WireImage

Chanel Cruise Collection 2016/2017

Thomas Concordia | WireImage

Natalie van der Meer
Natalie van der Meer
Senior Editor Natalie van der Meer is a former editor for Redbook, Woman's Day, Reader's Digest and Allure, covering fashion, beauty, travel, family, book reviews, and much more. She lives in New York City.