It’s been a tumultuous week for drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. On Wednesday, Guzman was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years and was ordered to pay $12.6 billion in forfeiture. But on that same day, Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman Salazar, one of Guzman’s ten children, was in the midst of officially launching her new clothing line named after her father, El Chapo 701.
El Chapo’s daughter is starting a clothing line in Mexico that is based heavily off the legacy and lore surrounding him.
The brand-new fashion line made it’s debut at the Intermoda fashion show in Guadalajara this week and is making headlines for its inspiration. Alejandrina Guzman named the brand “El Chapo 701” as a reference to Forbes naming her father the 701st richest person in the world back in 2009.
The clothing line sells items such as T-shirts, belts, purses, and jackets all adorned with imagery of Guzman and the 701 logo. According to the Mexico Daily News, many of the products that were on display in Guadalajara were made by prison inmates at the Puente Grande prison in Jalisco where Guzman managed to escape from in 2001 out of a laundry cart. The proceeds from sales will reportedly go to helping people in need and assist in the reintegration of inmates back into society.
“In the entire world, he is known as the CEO of Sinaloa or the Lord of the Mountains. He is the unique and legendary 701,” the brands website says.
Products prices range from $35 for shirts to $100 for belts and jackets.
Whether it’s ties, leather wallets, and boots, El Chapo 701 has managed to produce a wide variety of items for the El Chapo enthusiast in your family. Many of the items reportedly sold out very quickly at the Intermoda fashion show amidst growing buzz for the recently incarcerated Guzman.
But there is already a competing El Chapo brand that is being released. That company has the consent and approval of Guzman and is being headed by his wife.
Back in March, Guzman had reportedly signed a contract from prison granting rights for his name and likenesses to a company headed by his wife, Emma Coronel. The company is called El Chapo Guzman and just saw it’s first clothing drop last week. The ex-drug lord will not have any role or say in Coronel’s company.
“I’m very excited to start this project, which was based on ideas and concepts that my husband and I had years ago,” Coronel told CNN, adding that the line will be dedicated to their twin daughters.
Reaction to the El Chapo clothing brand has been quite interesting online as some are praising his daughter for her entrepreneurship skills.
Some people online are looking at the brand launch in a more positive way. One user said “You gotta understand Our people are hustlers. The hustle never stops! YEEE!!! Plus it’s simply supply and demand WHY U MAD HE CAUGHT ALREADY”
Guzman has been viewed differently by various people since his rise to Robin Hood-like reputation in Mexico. He would often give back to the many poor communities in Sinaloa, Mexico making him a beloved figure to many there. But that legacy is mixed to others as Guzman became a drug lord and kingpin for drug cartels in the ’80s and ’90s.
While the 62-year-old Guzman gets ready to spend the rest of his life behind bars, there is a growing market for brand and name. With nearly 9K followers on Instagram, Alejandrina Guzman has a well-established social media presence for her fashion brand and will no doubt be fueling this popularity behind El Chapo.
“There are people who give us a lot of support, who like it, who buy things and come from other places to distribute our products,” Adriana Ituarte, a sales representative for the brand told Mexico News Daily. “But there are some people who criticize us, who say we are promoting a drug trafficker.”
Tequila is perhaps the most iconic drink from Mexico (although mezcal has been making a BIG comeback for a few years now, particularly as part of urban hipster cultures). We recently reported how tech mogul Elon Musk is trying to get his controversial Teslaquila off the ground, and how Breaking Bad actors Bryan Craston and Aaron Paul are considering having their own label. That is all good if they bring money and jobs to the area of Tequila, Jalisco, where the ancient spirit is produced under Denomination of Origin.
In the meantime, here are a few Mexican-owned tequila brands, some of which are the usual suspects (1800, Corralejo) while others are smaller but exciting brands.
This tequila is housed in a legendary hacienda, as the company, Sotol, states: “The Hacienda Tabalaopa, a family jewel since it’s establishment in 1881, has historically embraced Sotol as the spirit of the region”. This premium spirit, Sotol, is a bit different to tequila as it is elaborated with a wild agavacea variety termed Dasylirion which only grows in the Chihuahuan Desert of northern Mexico. This is an example of how the industry is diversifying, encompassing other regions of Mexico.
This beautiful bottle contains a premium tequila developed by a young Mexican entrepreneur. This relatively new brand is socially conscious and has programs to support agave growers in Jalisco. They source their agave azul from small growers, supporting the local farming industry. It has gotten some good reviews and is bound to become a staple of hipster bars worldwide.
This casa tequilera is as traditional as it comes: it has been operating since 1886 when it was founded by Don Delfino González. However, its owners have taken good care of the brand’s image, using a contemporary brand design that looks great on any bar shelf. Their crown jewel is the San Matias Cristal, which is clear and pure, distilling the floral notes to the nose and the palette that pure blue agave brings. It is the new face of an old distillery, so it brings together the new and the classic in interesting ways.
One of the most traditional brands around (we can totally picture Jorge Negrete or Pedro Infante drinking straight from the bottle while delivering a serenata). This tequila is also the brainchild of Don Delfino González, who during the period that preceded the Mexican Revolution found the perfect conditions for growing agave azul and producing tequila in the Los Altos region of Jalisco. The red soil fields here are rich in iron and other minerals, which provides the perfect nourishment for the agave plants.
This tequila is manufactured by Tequilas del Señor, a house that has more than seven decades of expertise. It is named after the indigenous woman, La Malinche, that according to the legend served as a translator for the conquistadores. For those who enjoy a clear taste, La Malinche is a good option. To the nose, it provides intense notes of baked agave with hints of mint and citrus. It is silky in the mouth with pleasant herbal notes and lovely acidity. It is great to drink by itself… perhaps after a few carnitas tacos.
Just look at this bottle! It would be envied by the most delicate whiskeys on the planet. The reposado (which basically means “rested”, as it has matured in oak barrels for years) variety has a smokey and deep flavor. This house is owned by Armando Orozco Espinoza, a young tequila master that comes from a long tradition of experts. The mantra of this house: ” passion, tradition, braveness, attitude, maturity, and youth.” Bound to become one of the classics.
These tequilas fall in the super-premium category, so they are bound to be a bit pricey (so please don’t make cheap margaritas with it… go a bit more sophisticated and put together a fancy cocktail). This relatively new brand was years in the making: they hired a tequila master to spot the perfect agave plants to create a distinctive flavor. The family that runs this business has been growing agave for more than four decades. The fields and factory are located in the “Golden Triangle” region in Los Altos (Highlands) of Jalisco.
A young brand that has gotten some traction in the European market. The reposado variety is a delight: deep, peppery flavors thanks to the eight months it spends in oak barrels. Tequila 29 Two Nine is owned by a family who, according to company communications, wants to disrupt the game.
One of the most widely sold tequilas, both in Mexico and overseas. It is manufactured in the Hacienda Corralejo in Guanajuato, which as become a tourist attraction in its own right. As stated by the company, “visitors can satisfy their curiosity and excitement about the processes used to make tequila. The atmosphere is a delight to both sight and smell, as exemplified by casks for aging tequila located in beautiful cellars and filled with a suggestive and captivating aroma that evokes the honey of cooked agave”. Sounds like a perfect holiday to us!
This is a luxury craft tequila owned by Mexican-Americans but manufactured the distiller Tequilera Las Juntas in Jalisco. It is made from 100 percent Blue Weber Agave grown in the region of Tequila. It has won multiple international awards.
A young, hip brand whose slogan is #takelifebystorm. It was created by Marco, a master distiller with over 40 years of experience. He says: “I’m really proud of what I’ve done throughout my career at some of the best brands, but there are always limitations when you work for someone else. Tromba represents everything I think great tequila can be.” Marco is joined by Rodrigo Cedano, a young apprentice who really strives to create a tequila that distinguishes itself from the dozens of options in the market. Guess where the name comes from? “Tromba gets its name from the intense rainstorms of the Jalisco highlands that nourish its famed agave plants. It also represents energy and rejuvenation that fuels the passion and purpose of its founders”.
It takes its name from the famous poisonous rattlesnake. This brand specializes in blends that infuse tequila with flavors such as honey and coffee. It is created in the town of Arandas, in the Jalisco highlands. This brand makes sure that the agave plants are used in a sustainable way, and use every part of the plant in the production process. They have some pretty good ideas for cocktails: http://cazcabel.com/the-drinks/.