MAGAZINE June 18th, 2021

CLANDESTINA SS22

 

What are the aesthetic codes and the essential reference points of your brand?

“Imagine you are the child of soviet misha and disney bambi and you were born in 1980’s Cuba. You were raised dancing, in a permanent economic crisis, between socialist utopia and imperial threads. Invasion, music, mojitos, happy classmates, obsession with sports and biotechnology, and more crises, made of you the perfect fit for the new millennia designer. Clandestina is that child. An almost pure Cuban brand for an imperfect and challenging fashion industry”.

Tell us about the collection you are presenting at White (i.e. inspirations, key pieces, materials)

“Repurposed Nylon bags, denim, and t-shirts make our “Sports Glories”top items. This is not a collection for athletics but a statement of how you must be ready to run the race for your daily life. Soviet cars bowling shirts, shiny gender fluid boxing robes, prepare us for a game where expectations and reality collide like in the Olympic games. This is our team, team Cuba”.

Sustainability has become a major issue for the fashion industry (and not only that). What’s the brand attitude in relation to it?

“Being sustainable is not a choice for us. Sustainability is Cubans’ lifestyle, it's in our DNA. We recycle because we can´t afford to waste anything. We lack resources, our industry is outdated, we don’t have economic infrastructure to support large scale productions… That’s precisely why we work with whatever we find. We put that “resolver” way of life of the island into all we do. That innate capacity of finding a solution (crazy as it could be) to any problem and making the most out of everything”. 

We live in the age of social media, non-stop communication and rapid changes. On what should a brand focus to carve out its own space and draw public attention?

“Transparency is the answer. Be true to your story, to who you are and the struggle you have faced to get where you are right now. Be loyal to those who have supported you since the beginning, to your community. The best way to connect (on and beyond social media) is to open yourself to them, showing the brand´s inner processes, those that create value for the final product. Sharing all stages of a product development allows brands to display fair labor structures, local production, innovation processes and sustainability values. Also, educate your clients. Explain to them the value of upcycled products, show them the importance of recovering old clothing pieces and make them play an active role in giving these garments a second opportunity”. 

Do you think it is important to stress on workmanship and, broadly speaking, on the production process of the garments? If so, how can this be communicated?

“Some brands have to create their narratives to fit in the sustainable scope, while others just need to display their production processes. Clandestina’s workshops produce all the garments of our “Vintrashe” line. These products are locally hand-made in Cuba, by women who used to work in the only textile factory that was left in the country, located in a very humble town named Cayo La Rosa. When the factory shut down, they ran out of jobs. They joined Clandestina and started working with recovered materials and upcycled garments. These women are constantly creating new fashionable items with second hand materials and, indeed, represent the core of our sustainable values”. 

 

 

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