Fashion show blends Cuban private enterprise, US sponsorship

A model presents a creation by Clandestina during a fashion show in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. The initiative combines fashion design by Cuban entrepreneurs of the Clandestina brand with the backing of United States tech giant Google that is looking to develop the access to the internet to a country with low connectivity. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)

Models strutting in paint-stained shirts and leather construction boots have shed light on an unusual blend of Cuban private enterprise and American corporate sponsorship

HAVANA — Models in Cuba strutted in paint-stained shirts and leather construction boots Thursday night in an unusual blend of local private enterprise and American corporate sponsorship.

The open-air fashion show put on by the Cuban label Clandestina and internet giant Google was titled "Country Under Construction" and took place outside Havana's Museum of Fine Arts.

Google is one of the American companies that have had the greatest success in building relations with the Cuban government since the declaration of detente by Presidents Raul Castro and Barack Obama. It has installed Google servers in Cuba to speed up company services such as YouTube and has carried out smaller cultural projects like the fashion show.

"Google provides something that inspires us," said Idania del Rio, 36, founder of Clandestina. The label has a shop in Old Havana and an online store, which is highly unusual for a Cuban private business.

Cuba has one of the world's lowest rates of internet use, but the figure has been rising sharply in recent years as the country allows both home internet and public WiFi access points. Mobile 3G service was supposed to begin this year but that plan is in doubt after a series of largely unsuccessful tests of the new service.

Many of the clothes on display Thursday bore the widely known WiFi connection symbol.

"This is a really interesting initiative. It's generating value in Cuba. It's good for the country," said Cecilia Garcia, a 31-year-old economist who watched the show with a group of friends who found out about it on Facebook.

"Clandestina is in the vanguard of what's possible in Cuba, they're icons and pioneers," said Susanna Kohly Jacobson, one of the heads of Google's Cuba initiative.

_____

Andrea Rodriguez on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ARodriguezAP

Related News

Hawaii authorities urge awareness of raw food risk

Aug 17, 2016

Hawaii authorities are urging diners to be aware of the risks of eating raw and undercooked food after they traced a hepatitis A outbreak to frozen scallops served raw at a sushi restaurant chain

Are France's burkini bans sexist, or liberating?

Aug 17, 2016

Male officials are dictating what women can wear on French beaches _ and people across a wide swath of French society say that's a good thing

Target cuts outlook as it sees fewer customers in stores

Aug 17, 2016

Target cut its profit forecast and a key sales outlook amid stiffer competition and its own stumbles in areas like groceries

Broaden News

Travel Stylo is an independent online travel website started by a group of friends who love traveling together. With Travel Stylo, you can travel with style.

Contact us: sales[at]travelstylo.com