Guerlain becomes second international brand to make it to Havana’s Paseo promenade

Posted: 06-Jan-17 10:13

Eight months after Chanel's Cruise 2016/17 fashion show took over Havana's centric Paseo promenade, another famous French international brand has made it to that very same spot, only in a space that previously belonged to it in the first place. Guerlain has returned to number 157 on Calle Prado, claiming back what once was its first ever store in Havana back in 1917. The shop has now reopened to much local acclaim and excitement.

Guerlain becomes second international brand to make it to Havana’s Paseo promenade

Claiming back their former spot on 157 Prado street, along the famous and highly aesthetic Paseo promenade, Guerlain has returned to Cuba to reopen its historic store, which after restoration remains much as it was when it first welcomed clients back in 1917.

It’s only been eight months since one of the world’s biggest, most iconic fashion houses made it to Cuba with a full fashion show in tow, taking over the whole of Paseo’s long promenade and bringing an entourage of celebrities and world-famous models to Cuba’s capital city.

After Chanel’s resoundingly pioneering show, all eyes were on Havana and the list of celebrities touching down on the island kept growing, with Madonna’s birthday celebration being the last big celebrity event in a long list.

Now it is Guerlain, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious cosmetics and skincare brands that has returned to Cuba after decades of hiatus and the oblivion that followed the triumph of the revolution. Its once glowing store fell into disrepair and towards the 90s the locale became a bike repair spot. In the early 2,000s some effort went into converting it back to a perfume shop but the initiative eventually got cancelled due to construction problems.

A decade and some later, just in time for Christmas, Guerlain returned to Cuba to claim back its store and bestow the shop its former glory while working hard to maintain its original features, design and layout. With its grey façade and its dark, ebony-black interiors and gleaming mirrors, Guerlain’s renewed Havana store shines brighter than ever, with a long line of its famous luxury products soon available for sale.

This week Guerlain’s Havana store will open to the public, and the Cuban clientele is famous for its love of high-end perfume products despite their limited available income. Still, according to Guerlain’s sales representative in Cuba, Susel Ferran, there’ll be products for all pockets, and customers will be able to purchase the exact quantity of perfume they want in millimetres.

“Close to 95 per cent of our customers aren’t foreign. Cubans prefer to save up all year to have a good perfume, rather than buy any other product. We are vain people and we have an old perfume culture”

Speaking about the shop’s price range, Ferran further explained:

“You can find perfumes for the value of 5 CUC next to others priced at 130 CUC”

Overseen by Saint Remy Trading S.A. Havana’s renewed Guerlain store now proudly displays a wide variety of skincare products, cosmetics and perfumes. The City Historian, Eusebio Leal praised this historic reopening as “the most beautiful Christmas present” Havana could receive, while Ferran confirmed the brand’s spirit was revived in the conservation of the shop’s structure, the furniture and the long line of products on show, among which the “Terracota” foundation powder will prove immensely popular, as the city’s customers have been waiting for it to come back in stock for 15 years!


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