BOGA, Prestige and Consolidation in Cuban Apparel
By: Cira Rodríguez César
The Boga Apparel and Textile Company of the Clothing Industry Business Group, is recognized in the market for its signature products, the Creole guayabera and denim garments. Its products are characterized by creations using current concepts and designs in line with fashion trends.
It isn’t by chance that marketers and investors from various countries who attended the 33rd Havana International Business Fair visited the Boga stand, interested in the company’s attractive products for all ages, from casual and elegant clothing to corporate and school uniforms and even lingerie.
With 15 basic production units and over 100 factories across the country, Boga also does business under the ‘Abraxa’ name as well as ‘Fama’, a design center which employs more that 10,000 workers.
In speaking with Ricardo Astorga Aedo, the company’s Business Manager, Cubaplus learned that the objective is to sell their merchandise via retail stores, government agencies and export. Business through these channels was made possible thanks to the quality of the clothes, backed by a long tradition, the staff’s technical ability, experience and training, along with its facilities equipped with the necessary infrastructure, all which guarantee the production of a great assortment of products.
The executive also highlighted that they have prototype shops that offer design and modeling services according to the requirements of modern fashion.
As a guarantee of the authenticity of its designs and to better identify the items on the market, each one of the 15 business groups has its own brand, registered in the National Office of Industrial Property.
Boga produces clothes aimed at both adults and children, in addition to corporate and work uniforms for organizations such as Correos de Cuba (Post Office), Ministry of Tourism, and ETECSA (Telecommunication Services), along with 98 other clients with similar needs. For the tourism industry in particular, Boga supplies uniforms to about 125 hotels for all staff, which entails coming up with the right design taking into account each employee’s position and the facility itself. This includes other items such as bedspreads and curtains.
Aedo added that in the case of denim different creations are made with very original designs consistent with Cuban tastes, ranging from the effects of discoloration or bleaching of the fabric, to the famous pre-wash which is very popular among younger people.
They also produce school uniforms for all levels of education in the country, clothes for newborns made-to-order, as well as uniforms for the the defense and health sectors. No less important is the wide range of clothing sold in retail stores.
Joint ventures to expand markets Boga, like the rest of the Cuban economy, needs foreign investment to expand into other markets, and for this reason it has begun negotiations and is pending approval for production contracts with several entities. In this regard, Aedo highlighted the interest of several entities from Canada, Mexico, Spain and Italy. If such contracts were to materialize, Boga could exceed sales levels achieved in the past two years : 160 miillion pesos in 2014 and 165 million pesos for 2015.
This would also guarantee the production of Cuban fashion projects for the new year, to be presented at the upcoming International CubaIndustria Convention & Exposition, scheduled for June 2016.