The term nostalgia describes a yearning for the past, often in idealized form. Back in the Early Modern Period, it was described as a medical condition, a form of melancholy, and became an important trope in Romanticism. In common, less clinical usage, nostalgia sometimes includes a general interest in past eras, personalities and events, particularly when one mentions the “good old days,”

This issue, which we’ve titled One Last Colony, is certainly all about nostalgia. The phrase truly sums up what the exuberant city of Havana, where much of the action in these pages takes place, is all about. At first glance, when landing at night and hitting the dimly lit streets of this infamous city you are simply not aware of all the grandeur that the dawn will reveal. Set in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, only about 160 kilometres away from the United States, Havana is undoubtedly one of the very few jewels left of the Colonial Period. There, Fascist architecture is combined with Art Deco and the most exuberant of the Spanish Colonial Empire meets 1940′s Americana. It has all been untouched since the Cuban revolution in the mid 1950′s as if it was the film set of the most lavish Hollywood production.

This oft-overlooked, somewhat forbidden architectural extravaganza sets the scene for a celebration of music, old American cars running on Russian engines and a perfectly vibrant social landscape that is captured by L.A. based photographer Doug Inglish in our fashion/travel portfolio for Summer 2012.

But One Last Colony doesn’t end in Havana. First, we bring you our favourite collections one by one, exploring them in all their variety and elegances. Then, we take a worldwide tour in which we introduce you to a re-invented Aiden Shaw in our home town of Barcelona, then visit the iconic Madrid-based interior designer Pascua Ortega, catch up with the young jet-setter bag designer Gabrielecorto Moltedo at his home in Florence, and we end up talking to the one and only Kim Jones about his new role at Louis Vuitton in Paris.

With the sound of live salsa, a mojito in hand and the smell of tobacco mixed with a steady Caribbean breeze we are proud to introduce our second journey as Hercules Universal and invite you to our very own colony.

Francesco Sourigues & David Vivirido
(Photography Coke Bartrina)