Stylist Evan Elkowitz's latest piece in her series about Cuba's fashion scene introduces us to Textura. A designer creating environmentally conscious pieces made from natural fibers such as jute, rope, mesh, and wicker.
textura cuba

Liset Hernández Vázquez is the creator and designer of Textura colección. Textura, meaning  “texture,” is a sculptural and beautiful line of accessories designed and produced by hand in Cuba. I met Liset a few years ago on one of my research trips to Havana. I was  immediately impressed with her sophisticated and very stylish handbags.

From the moment I  met Liset, I couldn’t stop staring at her adorable cane-and-wood handbag.

From the moment I  met Liset, I couldn’t stop staring at her adorable cane-and-wood handbag. I had never seen a bag made with such ingenuity and style. I had to have one! We talked for a bit, but with my limited Spanish and her limited English it was pretty challenging. Liset and I were able to communicate with our expressions, and luckily a friend of mine stepped in to translate. I  invited her to participate in my upcoming fashion show that was linked to my next fashion tour. I wanted to showcase the line on my runway and have her pieces displayed at the boutique we would be creating for the guests attending the show.  

Related Post: Cuba’s Fashion Scene and Why We Should Know About It

Liset told me that growing up in Cuba she always admired her grandmothers’ and her aunts’  dresses. Liset is also a professor of Architecture at the Universidad Tecnológica de La Habana José  Antonio Echeverría. As a young girl she knew that she wanted to have a career in either fashion design or architecture. Liset became an architect as a result of her overwhelming passion for cities, buildings, and urbanism. Her voluminous, space-creating pieces reflect her profession. Liset is inspired by textures present in Cuban architecture, and she incorporates elements like stained glass when she is designing her pieces.  

“Fashion is more than clothing trends dictated by someone, for me it is my own personality and style.”

Liset Hernández Vázquez, creator of Textura

Liset explained some of the obstacles to me that she faces in designing her fashion line, Textura. Obtaining raw materials is always extremely difficult in Cuba. There is always a limited amount of supplies and sourcing what she needs can be very frustrating. The pieces she creates are made from natural fibers such as jute, rope, mesh, and wicker. The line is environmentally conscious and sustainably made. 

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Liset told me that the biggest challenge that fashion designers face in Cuba has been to educate a consumer base that has grown accustomed to buying foreign fashion. According to Liset, for many years Cubans looked down upon products that were made locally. It can also be tricky to figure out how to market your creations in a country like Cuba where private  businesses began less that twenty years ago. Finding the best way to promote and advertise  her accessories is not easy in Cuba. What I love doing for Textura (in addition to the other  designers that I work with) is highlighting them by inviting them to participate in my fashion  shows, bringing my tour groups to meet these designers, and writing about them for publications like Startup Cuba!  

textura cuba
Handbags by Textura coleccion in Cuba.

The pieces she creates are made from natural fibers such as jute, rope, mesh, and wicker. The line is environmentally conscious and sustainably made. 

In Liset’s opinion, fashion is her way of expressing who she is. It allows her the creative  freedom to show off her personality and style. I asked Liset which famous actor she would  choose to play her in a film and she told me that Emma Stone would play the role. Textura is a unique line whose vintage influence paired with its organic style tells me that this  Cuban fashion brand is here to stay. 

textura cuba

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Evan Elkowitz

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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