Before I started Nicolita in 2003, I was on a personal quest to learn what Cuba was like when my parents were living there. Because we were not allowed to visit Cuba before 2009 legally, it became a burning desire for me to get to know the Cuba that my parents left behind.

I had grown up looking at their vintage black and white photos and fell in love with that era and nostalgia in Cuba. As I was researching more about Cuba, I came across some vintage magazines and newspaper clippings that my parents had. The magazines and newspaper clippings had a few fashion and travel advertisements that were so cool.  Before I knew it I was hooked on all things Vintage Cuba and I was on a hunt to find more of these advertisements and posters.


It was during a trip in Miami one summer, I was walking down Calle 8 Little Havana and found this great store called, SENTIR CUBANO. I came across this book:




Cuba Style: Graphics from the Golden Age of Design


It’s a historical collection of Cuban designs from the 1920s to the revolution in 1959. Primarily vintage posters that promoted travel to Cuba, music album covers, and magazine covers.

I was OBSESSED to say the least. I felt like I hit the JACKPOT of  Cuban vintage posters!


This book became a NICOLITA road map to our initial logo design, catalog layouts, website and overall brand feeling. I loved looking at these posters so much that I made color copies of every single page and created a decoupaged wallpaper of all of the posters on one of our office walls.

It truly was a source of inspiration for me and officially turned my little office and factory into NICOLITA’s design studio. Whenever I needed a little spark of creativity, I would stare at that wall and notice a trim detail or cool font that helped create one of our famous NICOLITA designs.

This year for our trade show booth at the Miami Swim Show, I wanted to recaptured that original collage wall design and reconnect with NICOLITA’s humbled beginnings.  I set forth on this lengthy task of designing printed wallpaper that looked just like my original office walls. (I was NOT going to decoupaged it again. That was fun, but this was the less messier option option.

First, I scanned EVERY single page in the book, cropped each image so it was just the poster without the text and then layered the images in Photoshop. I created a 4 ft x 8 ft panel image size in order to fit the back wall of the booth. Each panel had a little different layout of the images so the repeat on the wallpaper would not be noticed. I sent 3 panels to get printed.

So in the above picture of the booth, you can see the vintage poster collage on the back wall. (8 ft high x 12 ft wide) Putting up this collage brought back so many memories of starting NICOLITA over 11 years ago! Wow time flies!

The reaction to the booth design was so AMAZING! Everyone would stop and either comment on the wallpaper or my PINTEREST inspired Vintage Marquee Letter Lights. (I’ll post about making those too.) Overall, I am so happy with how the booth came out and also being able to bring back a little piece of what inspired me to start NICOLITA in the first place over 11 years ago.

Sometimes you forget why you started something and need a fire to reignite your passion. That photo collage was EXACTLY what I needed to get my fire burning again for me to create the NICOLITA 2015 collection!

Here are some of my favorite Cuban Vintage Posters from the wallpaper.

Cuba – Holiday Isle of the Tropics” Vintage Travel Poster Reproduction 16.9 x 25.5″ Appr.


 ”Carnival Havana, Cuba 1952″ Vintage Cuban Travel Poster

Visit Cuba – Native Cuban Dancer with Maracas – Vintage World Travel Poster by Conrado Walter Massaguer c.1935 – Fine Art Print – 11in x 14in

Varadero, Cuba Art Poster Print, 9×13

So, I would LOVE any feedback on what you think about my collage wall.

Also, are you feeling the need to reignite your PASSION again? Have you lost the fire of why you started a project a couple months ago and just stopped?

Maybe this will help you:

*Make a VISION board of something that inspires you or a bunch a inspiration images. PINTEREST is a great way to get this started.

Check out my personal profile NICOLE DI ROCCO OR NICOLITA SWIMWEAR
to get inspired.



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