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Chanel to show cruise collection in Cuba

dpadpa 3/05/2016

Iconic French fashion house Chanel is debuting its latest cruise collection in Cuba with a runway show on one of Havana's historic boulevards.

French fashion house Chanel has joined the Western institutions building ties with Cuba with a once-unthinkable fashion show on the socialist island.

The famed European haute couture group will present its 2016-17 Cruise Collection with a runway show on Havana's Paseo del Prado, a historic boulevard that ends in the city's cultural heart.

The catwalk and its so-far secret cast of fashion models will be framed, symbolically as well as literally, by the dilapidated buildings of La Habana Vieja, the city's colonial centre.

An invitation-only fashion spectacle of and for the world's moneyed elite was until recently out of the question in Communist Cuba.

But change is afoot in the island amid gradual economic reforms and the thaw in relations with the United States that began in December 2014.

Cuba's new climate has generated great interest from the art and fashion worlds.

Sporting his trademark dark glasses and showy silver gloves, German fashion maven and Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld inaugurated a show of his photographs at a gallery on Sunday in Havana, one of several art galleries that have appeared in the city in recent years.

In March, British rockers the Rolling Stones performed an open-air concert in Havana, decades after their music had been maligned by the country's "cultural guardians" in the early years after the Cuban revolution.

On Monday the first US cruise ship to call in decades docked in Havana.

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