Michelle Obama’s Floral Outfits Cost 23 Times Average Annual Salary in Cuba

Cuban President Raul Castro with Michelle and Barack Obama / AP
March 22, 2016

The two floral dresses that first lady Michelle Obama sported in Cuba this week would not be affordable for the wide majority of individuals living in the repressive country.

US Weekly recently spotlighted two outfits that Obama wore during appearances in Havana on Sunday and Monday that, according to a Free Beacon analysis, together cost more than 23 times the average annual state salary in Cuba recorded in 2014.

When the president and his family landed in Cuba Sunday, the first lady descended Air Force One wearing a sleeveless, rose-print dress made by designer Carolina Herrera. The dress is currently sold for $2,190 at Bergdorf Goodman, an upscale department store.

Later, on Monday evening, Obama dressed in a floral, knee-length dress from designer Naeem Khan to attend the state dinner at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana, Cuba. A similar frock from Naeem Khan, a Barack Obama donor, available in the designer’s pre-fall 2016 collection costs $4,490.

According to Trading Economics, a provider of historical economic data, the average monthly salary in Cuba was 584 pesos, or about $24, in 2014, based on statistics provided by the National Office of Statistics. That represented a significant increase in the average monthly salary over the previous year, which was 471 pesos ($20).

Over 12 months, therefore, the average employee’s wages in Cuba totaled $288 in 2014. The Carolina Herrera dress Michelle Obama wore when arriving in Cuba Sunday costs nearly eight times this amount. The Naeem Khan dress costs almost 16 times this amount. The total price tag of the two outfits, thus, is more than 23 times the average annual salary in Cuba estimated in 2014.

Published under: Cuba , Michelle Obama