A few weeks ago I got an email from Clandestina, Cuba’s first independent fashion brand, offering up a new royal blue version of their classic t-shirt, “se acabó el drama” which essentially means, “no more drama.” In typical Clandestina fashion ;), their timing was perfect. And, I assume intended to mark the tail end of an era that’s left the United States divided and exhausted from… the drama.
I bought one of these T-shirts because it’s more important than ever that we do our part to support Cuba’s entrepreneurs. Plus, I’m colorblind and royal blue is a color I can see.
Cuba’s cuentapropistas (entrepreneurs, or specifically, “self-employed”) have borne the brunt of the downturn in Cuba’s economy as a result of U.S. policy towards travel to Cuba and the Coronavirus pandemic. They depend on a tourism economy to pump money into the private sector and that economy has been reduced to just about nothing.
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“This is super hipster for New Yorkers, but here it is out of necessity.”Leire Fernandez, Clandestina Co-Founder
Clandestina’s brand is built on up-cycling, the idea of reusing old materials to create new products. It’s this ability to resolver (to just “figure things out”) that not only defines Clandestina but also represents the mentality of the Cuban people in general. Clandestina introduces this attribute to the world with their products as they brand modern-day Cuba. “This is super hipster for New Yorkers, but here it is out of necessity,” co-founder Leire Fernandez told me in Episode 6 of our Startup Cuba docuseries.
Give the episode a look at the top of the page. Then, if you’re so inclined, buy the T-shirt to support Cuba’s cuentapropistas. It is royal blue after all.
The replay of the episode above was first shared on Facebook over 24 months ago. It was one of the most exciting episodes to make. Idania Del Rio and Leire Fernandez, pioneers of the current Cuban fashion scene, are among some of the most creative and fun people we know. Give the episode a look at the top of the page. Then, if you’re so inclined, buy the T-shirt to support Cuba’s cuentapropistas. It is royal blue after all.
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? Updated 7:39 AM ET, Fri January 15, 2021