As druglord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was learning Wednesday he won’t likely ever see freedom again, his daughter launched a clothing line in Mexico that hinges heavily on the legacy and lore surrounding her father.
It appears at least some of the items in the clothing line are being made in a Mexican maximum-security federal prison from where El Chapo escaped in 2001.
Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman Salazar is the daughter of the 62-year-old former Sinaloa Cartel chief, who a judge sentenced Wednesday to life plus 30 years in a Colorado supermax prison.
Her fashion line — dubbed El Chapo 701, a reference to Forbes naming her father the 701st richest person in the world in 2009 — made its debut at IM Intermoda, a fashion expo held in Guadalajara, according to the brand’s social media posts. The expo began Tuesday and runs through Friday.
IM Intermoda says it brings “together designers, producers, distributors, and national and international buyers to exhibit and acquire the most outstanding trends of the season.”
Alejandrina Guzman went live on Facebook Tuesday, filming a journalist conducting an interview at the booth hawking the line’s wares, which include satin bombers jackets, hoodies and accessories. A black-and-gold image of her father is emblazoned on one of the booth’s walls.
Her father has long enjoyed a Robin Hood-like reputation, but even by that standard the company’s website describes her father in glowing, if subdued, terms, calling him “a friend of everyone, willing leader” and “a humble orange vendor with many goals and great ambition.”
“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 website says.
Dentist and model Enrique Flores is pictured on the company’s social media accounts wearing a “Lord of the Mountains” hoodie and ripped blue jeans. On his personal Instagram account, Flores, better known as Chocho Loco, wrote July 4 that he was at a photo shoot for Alejandrína Guzmán’s new clothing brand, named for her dad.
A video on Alejandrina Guzman’s Facebook page, claiming to be from the Alejandrina Guzman Civil Association, shows the hands of a prisoner cutting leather, and embossing and etching it with logos. A caption on the video identifies the man as “Juan N.,” an inmate at Puente Grande federal prison, outside Guadalajara.
El Chapo made his first of two prison escapes from the penitentiary in 2001. The irony? The kingpin escaped in a laundry cart.
Alejandrina Guzman’s Facebook post says providing work and reintegrating prisoners back into society will be one of the clothing company’s main objectives.
Despite Alejandrina Guzman regularly invoking her father in marketing materials, it’s not clear if she has his blessing for the clothing line.
In March, CNN reported that El Chapo had signed a contract from his Manhattan prison cell granting rights for his name and signature to a company headed by his wife, Emma Coronel. The company is called El Chapo Guzman: JGL LLC, and was expected to launch a clothing line this summer, said attorney Mariel Colon Miro, who was often seen sitting next to the druglord at his three-month-long trial.
“I’m very excited to start this project, which was based on ideas and concepts that my husband and I had years ago,” said Coronel, adding that the project was dedicated to their twin daughters.
Alejandrina Guzman is El Chapo’s daughter from his first wife, María Alejandrina Salazar Hernández. In December 2012, she was deported from the United States after pleading guilty in federal court to possessing a fraudulent visa.
Weeks prior, US Customs and Border Protection agents arrested a pregnant Alejandrina Guzman at the international crossing in San Ysidro, California. She crossed hoping to give birth in the United States, her attorney, Guadalupe Valencia, said.
She was a doctor working as a general practitioner, Valencia told CNN. At the time, her father was one of the most wanted drug traffickers in the world. He was captured again in 2014, only to escape the following year. He was captured once more in 2016 and extradited to the United States in 2017.