Cuban style may have long been characterized by guayaberas and whatever else Diego Luna was wearing in Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights. However, it’s an outdated notion for youth who attend things like Chacal & Yakal’s “Party Full Nasty” reggaeton concert. Their street style inspiration comes from El Yonki and Los Desiguales, and not necessarily from Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. In a New York Times photo essay, the publication seems surprised that young Cubans aren’t dressing in fatigues that even Castro has long moved on from. That’s like being surprised that they haven’t adopted his love of Adidas tracksuits.
The images show off what they’ve called reggaeton style, which includes long, asymmetrical tees, harem sweatpants, flashy jewelry, and Kardashian-esque dedication to eyebrow shaping. Their hair – possibly the most important part of the look – has height and personality reminiscent of Jimmy Neutron’s. We would argue that it’s not just reggaetoneros who dress like this, but they’ve still had an influence on Cubans.
What’s most interesting is that this now-trendy look might not have taken off. Just a few years ago, the government tried to stop the music from taking over, claiming that songs like “Chupi Chupi” were damaging Cuba’s soul. In 2012, then president of the Cuban Institute of Music, Orlando Vistel Columbie, banned the music from radio and TV. The music remained through things like El Paquete Semanal, a USB system that has filled in for the Internet. Eventually, Cuba loosened its reins on the reggaeton ban.
Read the entire New York Times piece here, and check out some of the style pics below: