Christian Louboutin is dressing Cuba’s Olympic team

Red glory

Text: Bianca Husodo

Christian Louboutin teams up with Sporty Henri for Team Cuba’s Olympic closing ceremony outfits

Next month's closing ceremony of the Olympic Games is one of the biggest global runway shows, of which household-named designers have plunged into the opportunity to clothe the competing teams. Ralph Lauren and Nike for Team USA, DSquared2 for Team Canada, Lacoste for Team France and Stella McCartney for Team Great Britain. But who's designing Team Cuba's uniforms?

Joining forces with athlete-turned-retailer Henri Tai is fashion's most prominent footwear maestro, Christian Louboutin. Although not the first to jump on the bandwagon of fashion's current love affair with the country (prominently,
Chanel's latest Havana cruise collection), Louboutin and Tai take the cake as they made it profound to consult with the Cuban athletes for feedback to ensure that they encapsulate the unique Cuban elements into the uniforms.
Henri Tai and Christian Louboutin sandwiched by the Cuban Olympians
Having custom fitted over 100 former Olympians, the shoe designer and e-tailer Sporty Henri founder created tailored jackets in bold red for men and muted beige for women, with the Cuban flag emblazoned on the breast pocket and the five-pointed star on the back. The jackets contrast with interchangeable trousers and shorts with a skirt option for women. Of course, not to be outshone are the shoes: Elegance-boosting calf leather high-top trainers and Naza Star loafers for men, while female athletes nab a spring to their steps with the kitten-heeled Naza sandals.

Expectedly oozing a sporty vibe, the first ever Louboutin-made apparel collection sees the polish and tinge of glamour that is unmistakably the French designer's insignia. "We wanted to dress the Cuban delegation with a genuinely Cuban idea," Louboutin said of the uniforms, "We designed the celebratory outfit for the moment they turn back into humans, still in that glory moment, still in their light but heading back to the real world. We really want them to continue feeling amazing in their skin while looking astonishing."
The Cuba Team bedecked in Christian Louboutin x Sporty Henri closing ceremony uniforms
The designs were created solely for use of the athletes of the Cuban National delegation to celebrate their participation at Rio 2016 and will not be sold.