Perry Ellis executives have a real tie to Cuba — executive chairman George Feldenkreis is a refugee from that country who escaped the reign of Fidel Castro to build a successful apparel business in Miami. So it’s no secret that the company’s take on the guayabera shirt, which it calls the Cubavera, is near and dear to his heart.
On Monday, Cubavera jumped into the New York Fashion Week fray by showing the collection at a gallery space in the Meatpacking District for the first time.
The compact lineup of the Cuban-inspired ready-to-wear included colorful short-sleeve shirts with tropical prints — and a couple of solids thrown in for good luck — worn with black linen pants and shorts.
Luis Toro, director of Hispanic sportswear and marketing for the company, said the prints are all exclusive and are designed to inspire men to “live the good life, with a mojito in hand, relaxing.” He said several of the prints were created by a Cuban artist — who also works on school uniforms — that the company commissioned to work on the patterns for the shirts.
Additionally, Toro said, the linen bottoms boast performance features such as wrinkle- and water-resistance as part of the brand’s “Suitcase to Sunset” initiative.
The prints were fun and playful and fit perfectly into the brand’s ethos. And they helped liven up an otherwise cold and windy day in February.