What do Vanessa Deleon, Picnic by Design (DIFFA), Coco Chanel & Cuba Have in Common?

As a designer, I find myself constantly inspired by a place that now has become the curiosity of many inquisitive minds. It is often  that I dissect the meanings behind the artwork, or the tiles in a particular space in this alluring time warp called Cuba. I am fascinated by the buildings’ architectural and Art Deco that liven up the streets of Cuba. I think how fascinating an era, an Island Paradise frozen in time that only my grandparents enjoyed for a short period of time.


Another inspiration is the beautiful fashion power house of Coco Chanel, timeless, but yet a breath of fresh air. Cuba’s beauty has inspired many, like Karl Lagerfeld, creative director of Coco Chanel, who put on one of the most amazing fashion show events in Old Havana: Cruise 2016/2017 CHANEL show in Cuba.

The Chanel models strut their stuff up and down the streets of Old Havana. How fascinating this runway show, yet complicated and most unusual of places for such an event. My feelings and emotions surge with creativity that fill me with inspiration. My thoughts of how exciting it is to share my inspirations in my field of design work. Furthermore, my passion for Cuba and Chanel inspired me to design a picnic basket for the upcoming auction at DIFFA, NYC.

Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids (DIFFA) asked if I would participate in Picnic By Design this Month. It is an honor to be part of such a worthy cause for fighting AID; I immediately said yes! Out of my inspiration of Cuba, Chanel and DIFFA, I created a Cuban themed Picnic by Design Basket. The picnic basket represents Cuba’s pastime of “Dominoe” in the park. I selected a large wooden Domino pieces as part of my design, added Palm trees, Cohiba cigars, a little Cuban Rum, and coffee for the ambiance. Also, embracing the fashion of Coco Chanel, my love for my culture and Cuba, while supporting the fight against AIDS. What do all these have in common with “Vanessa Deleon?”  “They are all truly inspirational.”