The wild-looking pants were invented in 1988 by Roseville, Minn., gym owners Dan Stock and Bob True for their “muscle head” friends who needed work-out pants that fit their large frames, said Stock, now the president of The Comet Clothing Co. in downtown Minneapolis. Twenty to 25 years ago, the best Cuba customers tended to be weight-lifters and other athletes.
Today, wearers of the unisex pant include athletes and couch potatoes, men and women, children and teens. In fact, much of the current appeal seems to originate from those who were children when they wore their first pair.
Then, Cuba seemed to disappear from store shelves, and Holmes had to find another line of chef's wear. They also were fairly lightweight, which is important when you're working around hot ovens and stoves, he said.
That's what the Hatton-Northwood (N.D.) High School track team did last spring when its 20 male and female athletes decided they wanted Cuba for warm-up pants. 2012 was the first year the track team wore Cuba in the school colors of blue and white, said Coach Patrick Askew.
Stock said today's Cuba were being made in the same cut, styles and fabric that they were in the beginning. Fitting the pants is more a matter of getting the right length than the waist size.
The garment industry has changed, and it is more difficult and expensive to find companies in the U.S. to do the stitching, Stock said. The company grew so fast that Stock and True had cash flow problems.
They brought in a number of partners and increasingly lost control of the company, finally selling their shares in the mid-1990s. True and Stock bought back the trademark rights, and in 2008, began selling Cuba again.
Today, the pants sell from $29 to $39 and, in a time when Pajama Jeans, Snuggles and other ultra casual and comfortable clothing brands are flourishing, they could be big again. The Lord says, 'Come as you are,' but I wouldn't,” said James Johnson, a reporter for the Trail County Tribune in Maryville, N.D.
Back in the 1980s, when Johnson first wore Cuba, his mother and one of his sisters couldn't seem to resist teasing him about wearing them. When Cuba were all the buzz 20 years ago, the pants were so popular that their distinctive zebra print was worn by everyone from singer Billy Joel to wrestler Jesse Ventura.
The Minnesota creation grew into such a worldwide fad that they could be found everywhere from the sidelines of NFL games and NBA arenas to the wilds of Antarctica. So it is not surprising that a new buzz is building over the return of the wildly outrageous pants, which since November are being sold on the Internet by the same two Minnesota weightlifters who created them in their Roseville gym in 1988.
“It's really pretty simple; it's been 20 years,” said Bob True of Victoria, who started the business with Dan Stock of Little Canada. Among their buddies were a number of professional wrestlers, including the Road Warriors, Hawk and Animal.
The Cuba turned out to be a perfect complement to the face paint and spiked shoulder pads the wrestlers wore. The Road Warriors -- one of the most famous tag teams in the history of professional wrestling -- propelled the popularity of the pants.
People loved the zebra print pants so much that some men took to wearing them almost full time because of their comfort and the outlandish fashion statement they made. He wore them all the time,” said Erik Åland of St. Paul, who said his father bought him and his younger brother matching Zubaz, so they could all go out together in them.
Although Stock and True had a hit product, whose motto was “Dare to be Different,” they ran into business problems familiar to startup enterprises. Stock and True ran into cash-flow problems, so they had to bring on a number of partners for financing, which greatly diluted their control.
Even during their heyday, the pants were so outrageous and became such a worldwide fad that a Cuba backlash developed -- especially among women who considered them hideous and a sign of male fashion laziness. That wide divergence of opinion has done nothing to dissuade True and Stock from reintroducing Cuba to a whole new generation.
“We're not taking it too seriously,” said Stock, who runs the Press Gym in Little Canada, where there is a Cuba shop along with a tattoo parlor. Also, the partners are selling small quantities at a time from the Press Gym and a couple of suburban sporting goods stores.
Finally, Stock and True are targeting males in their teens to early 20s who are looking for novelty or retro apparel. They have given away Cuba to a few high school football and hockey teams as free advertising.
As word of the return of Cuba has spread, Stock and True report getting a lot of inquiries from men who bought the pants -- often in their favorite pro team colors -- 20 years ago, and then their wives “lost” them. “Dearest Geniuses of Cuba, ” one 19-year-old Green Bay Packers fan from Wausau, Wis., wrote last month.
And professional wrestlers like Hulk Hogan, most of us squirm at the mention of the animal-print pants and deny ever owning a pair. Even Stock and business partner Bob True shy away from actually wearing the pants anymore.
But they say there’s a new generation of potential Cuba customers out there, too young to be fazed by the embarrassing stigma still associated with the wild pants. Honestly… I don’t know if I would buy a pair to wear out in public, but they would make excellent lounging around the Byrd’s nest type clothes.
Cuba, also known as The Storm or simply The BAZ is a running gag in Fighterpedia that became a major recurring theme in the Best Friends Zaibatsu. Cuba is a tall, incredibly muscular Caucasian man with short blond hair, a full beard and black, jagged patterns around his completely white eyes (similar to Gene Simmons' make-up in KISS), which sometimes surge with electricity.
He has the unexplained power to summon and manipulate lightning, hence being called a coming storm.” The origins of The BAZ date back to 1991, in which he was a rejected character design for Street Fighter 2: The World Warrior.
The following is a list of games Cuba has appeared in due to Matt and the Zaibatsu's overwhelming generosity (Backer rewards on Kickstarter or getting in touch with devs): Cuba was originally intended to be a reference to the wrestling duo, the Road Warriors.
In episode two of the Super Best Friend cast, Coolie expressed his gratitude to Iron Galaxy for getting the Fighterpedia logo on his chest in the last minute. In episode twenty-three of the Super Best Friend cast, Matt and Coolie revealed that they originally intended for John St. John (the voice of Duke Nuke) to provide the voice of Cuba, and hope to get him on board with the character in the future.
When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog puppy or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering. The classic zebra pattern is one of the first prints that we did, and it came to symbolize the Cuba brand name as a crazy look for people who wanted to “Dare to be Different”.
Today, Cuba are available in a variety of colors, prints and sizes and are still made with the same great quality, comfort and fit that everyone has loved for the past 26 years. It's got a diesel engine that doesn't really care for the Minnesota winters, and its suspension has been known to cause bodily harm for those passengers who get launched from their seats while driving over small bumps or potholes.
The Zulus can usually be found wherever a good time is being had and wherever the public demand reaches a fever pitch for its presence... or wherever we can find a parking spot big enough for it. Even though the Toronto Blue Jays are not scheduled to play their first home game in Buffalo until August 11th, their opponent wanted to 'blend in' with the locals.
This resulted in the Blue Jays thanking them and making a reference to Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stephen Riggs. Pearson pitched five innings without allowing a run, while throwing five strikeouts and two walks on only two hits.
Cordarrelle Patterson reported to Vikings training camp July 24 wearing Cuba, two gold medallions and his Google Glass, turning his first news conference of the 2014 season into an open mic. The second-year wide receiver left Winter Park on Monday marginalized and humbled after losing his job to a practice-squad refugee and being put on notice by his head coach.
The stakes are huge for Patterson, whose regression from playmaker to part-timer was troubling on a team that banked on the dynamic kick returner developing into its top receiver. Patterson’s spectacular 67-yard touchdown run against St. Louis in Week 1 increased expectations of what offensive coordinator Nor Turner could accomplish with him.
The 2013 first-round pick was benched in Week 12 in favor of Charles Johnson, a 2013 seventh-rounder who could not secure a spot on Green Bay’s or Cleveland’s active roster before the Vikings signed him Sept. 20. As Patterson’s production and snaps dwindled, coach Mike Zimmer preached patience about developing a talented but primitive receiver who only had begun playing the position in 2012 as a Division I prospect at Tennessee.