A new fashion brand was relegated to a cramped four-square-meter corner at the Intermoda fashion show in Guadalajara this week, but it still managed to be one of the event’s biggest attractions.
The “El Chapo 701” brand drew many curious shoppers with a huge printed image of its namesake, convicted drug trafficker Joaquín Guzmán, and a line of clothing inspired by him.
According to lawyer Gilberto de Anda, El Chapo 701 is owned by Alejandrina Guzmán Salazar, the daughter of the former head of the Sinaloa Cartel and his first wife María Alejandrina Salazar Hernández.
However, Emma Coronel, Guzmán’s current wife, introduced last week a line of El Chapo clothing and accessories, also using the 701 brand name. She announced in March that Guzmán had signed over the rights to his name.
Some of the products on display this week in Guadalajara were made by prison inmates, and proceeds from sales will go to supporting people in need and the reintegration of inmates into society, de Anda said.
Sales representative Adriana Ituarte told the newspaper Publímetro that some of the proceeds from online sales will go towards supporting an addictions treatment association founded by Alejandrina Guzmán.
The El Chapo 701 catalog includes around 20 items of varying prices, most bearing the 701 brand, which refers to El Chapo’s place on the Forbes list of the richest people in the world in 2009.
The cheapest items are shirts for 701 pesos (US $35), while some jackets and belts are as much as 1,900 pesos.
One of the stand-out pieces from the collection is a line of “piteado” belts, a traditional style of embroidery with thread made from agave plants on leather.
The belts are made by prisoners at the maximum-security Puente Grande prison in Jalisco, from which Guzmán escaped in a laundry cart in 2001.
Ituarte said the brand has been generally well-received at the show.
“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,” she said. “But there are some people who criticize us, who say we are promoting a drug trafficker.”
On Wednesday, Joaquín Guzmán was sentenced to life in prison by a judge in New York.