Christian Louboutin Is Dressing Cuba's Olympic Team
By Catie L'Heureux
Cuba's Olympic team will be dressed by Christian Louboutin for next
month's biggest runway show: the closing ceremony at the Olympic Games.
And in a rare moment for the fashion industry, the looks were created
with input from the Cuban athletes themselves.
Announced Thursday, the Cuban team will wear formalwear designed by
Louboutin and Henry Tai, a French former professional handball player
who founded the online retailer SportHenri.com. The collection —
tailored Guayabera-inspired jackets with flag patches; calf-leather
kitten-heel sandals, high-tops, and loafers bearing a five-pointed star
— were created in a series of custom fittings with current and former
Cuban Olympic athletes in a Paris atelier.
The collaboration with the Cuban athletes represents a significant move
within the fashion industry. As Fashionista noted, designers have often
tended to "glorify a prerevolutionary, sugar-coated Cuba" rather than
explore the country's modern culture — well before President Barack
Obama re-established diplomatic relations with the country last July.
This was most recently evident in Karl Lagerfeld's 2017 resort
collection for Chanel, in which 700 guests were whisked to Cuba's Paseo
del Prado boulevard in colorful 1950s cars. "This is all about my vision
of Cuba," Lagerfeld told the Cut before the show. "But of course, what
do I know about Cuba? It is very childish, my idea."
While the Cuban Olympic team's collection also spotlights classical
clothing from the '50s, the approach and collaboration with the athletes
sets it apart. "We wanted to dress the Cuban delegation with a genuinely
Cuban idea," Louboutin said in a video launching the collection, later
telling WWD why these clothes were designed with the closing ceremony in
mind: "We designed the celebratory outfit for the moment they turn back
into humans, still in that glory moment, still in their light but
heading back to the real world."
Source: Christian Louboutin Dressing Cuba's Olympic Team -- The Cut -