Monday, Jan. 09, 2012

Fidel Castro's Tracksuits

Fidel Castro, communist dictator or washed-up track star? The former leader of Cuba has been seen in tracksuits ever since he was photographed wearing a red, white and blue Adidas version while recovering from surgery in 2006. Since then, the possibly ailing 85-year-old has expanded his athletic wear to include other brands, such as Fila, Puma and Nike — the last of which, may we point out, is barred from being sold in Cuba due to the 40-year-old U.S. trade embargo. But just because Castro likes to show his sporty side in his fashion choices doesn't mean that brands are apt to utilize the dictator in their campaigns. "It's not a positive, not a negative," Travis Gonzalez, head of Adidas p.r., told the New York Times when asked about Castro's clothing choice in 2006. "We are a sports brand. We are making products for athletes, we are not making them for leaders." That didn't deter Castro, who made a rare public appearance in April 2011 to formally resign as secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, from wearing a navy-and-white Fila tracksuit.