Mychel D’Zuarez is one of the most controversial and interesting designers working in Cuba today. He was born in Camaguey, Cuba and trained from an early age to become a musician.
d'zuarez cuba

Mychel D’Zuarez is truly a fashion genius. He believes that fashion is everything, and he redefines the concept in Cuba because he feels that he never had a point of reference. Every garment and accessory in the D’Zuarez collection was created by the designer. 

Mychel prides himself as someone who has always had great personal style. Mychel is completely self-taught and never attended design school. He began his work in fashion by designing costumes for Cuban entertainers. He had a vision of what was lacking in the Cuban fashion market. He felt that everything that was being designed in Cuba was geared toward tourism and was primarily more of a souvenir than a fashion statement. Common sense mixed with creativity led him to brand himself and name his line D’Zuarez to honor his company and pay tribute to his family. 

His collections are androgynous and designed for daring clients who are unafraid of breaking fashion barriers.

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Over the past eight years, D’Zuarez has evolved into an edgy, fashion-forward label. His collections are androgynous and designed for daring clients who are unafraid of breaking fashion barriers. Mychel’s main objective was to redefine the concept of Cuban fashion, and he worked independently of the Cuban Designers Association for many years in order to be able to maintain his creative freedom. 

Like most Cuban artisans, the most challenging part of creating anything there is the sourcing of materials, and being limited to what he could get on the island. D’Zuarez faced this challenge with an incredibly positive attitude. He sources a lot of materials from Peru, which he considers his “second homeland.” In his own words, “If you can do a good job with what you have and not with what you want, you clearly have incredible talent and creativity.”  

There was a VERY sexy undertone to this collection

In my opinion, the D’Zuarez aesthetic is similar to Dolce & Gabbana, Versace and Alexander McQueen. I had the privilege of showcasing Mychel’s “Tobacco” collection at my first fashion show that I hosted in Havana. The striking Cuban models (Mychel provides his own team) walked the runway in earth toned pieces that reminded me of ancient Grecian style. There was a VERY sexy undertone to this collection. The clothing and accessories tastefully resembled garments that a royal prince would wear. D’Zuarez gave silk scarves as gifts to every guest who attended the show — a gracious and kind gesture that will stay with me always. 

At my second fashion show in Cuba, I again invited Mychel to participate, this time to debut his newest collection, “LUXE,” on the runway. We decided that D’Zuarez’s provocative collection would open the show. He told me that he had a great “surprise” for me and I would need to wait until the night of the show. We were all gathered around the runway anticipating the start of the show. Suddenly there was a loud roar of a motorcycle and smoke began making its way onto the runway. A headlight was shining and the photographers, media, videographers, and guests couldn’t believe their eyes. Mychel had a male model drive the Harley Davidson down the runway with a very sensual female model riding on the bike with him. She got off of the bike mid-catwalk and greeted the crowd while waving a fan that said “Fashion Tour 2019.” 

d'zuarez cuba

Everyone was speechless and excited for the show to begin. What an unforgettable night! 

It is truly an honor and a pleasure to call Mychel D’Zuarez my friend and colleague. I am proud to know him, to work with him, and to write about him. He is a game changer in the international fashion world and I have no doubt that he will continue to shake up and reinvent Cuban fashion.

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Evan Elkowitz is a New York stylist and fixture in Cuba’s underground fashion and design scene. After many years as a stay-at-home mom, she began a career as a stylist. She ventured to Cuba for the first time in December 2017 and styled her first photoshoot in Havana. Since then she founded the first Fashion & Arts tour to Havana with the goal of collectivizing her knowledge in order to give an insider's look into the unexpected creative world of Cuban design. She also loves salsa and Cuban music in general!

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