[Fast Company] Most famous prisoners parlay their notoriety into memoirs. But that would be far too prosaic for El Chapo. Nope, the famous chief of the Sinaloa Cartel will be spinning out a fashion brand from prison.
No, this is not a joke. Last week, the New York Daily News reported that Chapo–who is also known as Joaquín Guzmán Loera–signed a contract giving the rights to his name and signature to a new company called JGL, LLC. In February, Chapo was convicted of trafficking, money laundering, and firearms possession that will likely result in a lifetime prison sentence.
As a result, the new brand will be run by his stylish 29-year-old wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, who regularly shows up at his court appearances with Prada bags and wearing Gucci belts.
Aispuro told the Daily News that the brand has been in the works for a long time, and the new line will bear the Chapo’s name and signature. She says the plan is to start with a line of caps, then to make clothes and jackets.
In some ways, the brand makes a lot of sense. Chapo has plenty of name recognition. Over the decades, he’s made headlines for growing a massive drug cartel, repeatedly evading the police, escaping prison, fathering at least 19 children with a half-dozen women, and all before turning 62.
All of these ideas could be channeled into the fashion line, allowing consumers to appropriate some aspect of Chapo’s identity for their own purposes. They could wear El Chapo gear subversively, or ironically, simply because they think the line is absurd.