For a few hours Havana’s Paseo del Prado avenue became the runway of France’s Chanel fashion house precisely in the month that Cuba dedicates to French culture, where art and fashion go hand in hand.

This is the first time that Chanel brings its runway to Latin America and to this Caribbean island, coinciding with the 36th International Tourism Fair, FitCuba-2016, held in Havana.

For a few hours Havana’s Paseo del Prado avenue became the runway of France’s Chanel fashion house precisely in the month that Cuba dedicates to French culture, where art and fashion go hand in hand.The famous fashion house chose one of Havana’s most famous arteries, stealing the show from the filming staff with the eighth Fast and Furious movie as it was being filmed in the center of Havana.

Even the famous U.S. actor Vin Diesel showed up wearing a white guayabera (typically Cuban shirt), waving to the people who were crying out his name from the nearby balconies. The famous Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen also captivated everyone’s attention.

Chanel presented its collection Cruise 2016-2017, which is somehow inspired by Havana and its environment.

According to the fashion house, German designer Karl Lagerfeld, 82, is very interested in Cuba and the Cuban people, which is why he chose Cuba as the first venue for such first fashion in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Among the international models, just over 23 years, there were three Cubans: Guadalupe Blazquez, Jessica Borroto and Johana Borrego. They were chosen a few months ago during a casting, and had only two days for their rehearsal, they told The Havana Reporter.

The runway featured colorful outfits with designs of the emblematic classic American cars that are still running in Cuba, hats, berets, wide skirts and dresses, short pants and two-toned shoes.

The Cuban-French duo Ibeyi, pianist Aldo López Gavilán and Havana’s Chamber Music Orchestra accompanied the girls as they were modeling. The show closed with a rumba performance that had guests on their feet.

Back in the 1920s and ‘30s, Gabrielle Chanel was already designing light, comfortable summer collections, ideal for people going on cruise ship holidays or heading for warm destinations.

Ever since Karl Lagerfeld assumed as creative director in 1983, the house has been developing a cruise ship collection with shows in sui generis places like the Santa Mónica Airport in Los Angeles, New York’s Grand Central Station or the Island of Dubai.

Chanel’s first fashion show in Latin America coincided with the celebration in Cuba of the month of French culture, which includes various film showings and other artistic manifestations such as plastic arts.

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