Clandestina Is Cuba’s First Independent Fashion Label. Its Founders Want ‘Global Domination.’

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos Courtesy of Clandestina

Idania del Rio, co-founder of Cuba’s first independent fashion label Clandestina, wore a recycled T-shirt to the recent opening of her New York pop-up. With a ripped neck held together by many safety pins, the refurbished black Cincinnati Bearcats jersey resembled a sort of gender-neutral take on Elizabeth Hurley’s famous black Versace dress.

A publicist for the brand was quick to whisper that the salvaged top, like most Clandestina pieces, was “sustainable.”

The s-word has emerged as one of the Planet Fashion’s buzziest trends, with major players like Levi’s, H&M, and Kering pledging to release eco-friendly designs and initiatives. In Cuba, recycling clothes isn’t just in vogue—it’s been a way of life for more than half a century.

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