La Casa Del Habano Ho Chi Minh City Presents Elva Humidor: A Unique Homage to Cuba
In early November, La Casa Del Habano Ho Chi Minh City celebrated the launch of the Elva Humidor, a collaborative creation between renowned photographer Réhahn and Elie Bleu, a distinguished humidor manufacturer. Réhahn’s journey to Vietnam began after he first visited the country while on a humanitarian mission with the French NGO Les Enfants du Vietnam. Over the past 20 years, Réhahn has called the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage village of Hoi An his home.
During his frequent travels to Cuba, Réhahn encountered a remarkable woman named Elva in Old Havana in 2013. Elva’s fierce and fiery presence immediately caught his attention. With a wreath of red flowers adorning her head, she bore a striking resemblance to the iconic Frida Kahlo. While Réhahn hadn’t initially planned on taking any photos, Elva’s challenge to exchange something for a picture intrigued him. Their serendipitous meeting and conversation led to a spontaneous gesture when Réhahn offered her a Cohiba Esplendido cigar, which she accepted with a wide grin.
Over the course of more than an hour, they enjoyed their cigars and delved into conversations about history and Cuba. The vibrant portrait of Elva, born out of this memorable encounter, came to embody the spirit of Cuba and became one of the most iconic images in Réhahn’s Cuba series.
Crafted in France by Elie Bleu, the Elva Humidor features a Padouk Wood exterior and a Spanish Cedar interior. This 250-count humidor is part of a limited edition comprising only 66 pieces. The series also includes an ashtray crafted from Kaolin clay in the French city of Limoges, limited to just 105 pieces. Additionally, the Elva collection offers a cutter and a lighter, each limited to 155 pieces.
Réhahn revisited Elva on numerous occasions following their initial encounter, and Elva’s daughter has received support through Réhahn’s Giving Back Project. This project allows Réhahn to give back to those who have inspired his art. The philosophy of “conscious photography” ensures that both the subject and the artist benefit from their collaboration.
Today, the last remaining print of Elva’s portrait hangs in Réhahn’s gallery in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, a poignant testament to their enduring connection. The Elva Humidor is a unique homage to the spirit of Cuba and the enduring bonds forged through shared moments over a cigar.
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