The growth of the artisanal fashion industry comes thanks to free-market reforms put in place by President Raul Castro after he took power in 2008. Unlike some new private businesses, the fashion industry is receiving a relatively warm welcome from the communist bureaucracy, perhaps because it doesn't directly compete with the state. After successful runs in the first decades of Cuba's socialist revolution, state-run clothing businesses were hurt by the collapse of the Soviet Union and had largely disappeared by the mid-1990s.
The flame-haired, frankly spoken designer has been a force on the American fashion landscape for decades, having launched her brand in 1982. Her name appears on multiple categories from bridal to ready-to-wear and accessories such as sunglasses and phone cases. And what has been the secret to her professional longevity and staying relevant in the world of fashion? Her answer is to think like a young person would.