Pablo Escobar certainly isn’t name that is synonymous with fashion, but the rumors are true, the Colombian drug lord who was murdered nearly two decades ago, is one of the hottest selling T-shirt designs in Mexico today. It seems that Pablo Escobar’s son is taking the fashion markets by storm by selling T-shirts with his father on the front. Sebastian Marroquin’s designer T-shirts are thought to be popular because of the high concentration of drug activity.
The shirts are actually emblazoned with images of the his father, a Medellin cartel boss, and a man who was responsible for pumping the world full of cocaine, and stirring up some of the worse drug violence the world has ever seen. Escobar was shot in 1993 and died from his wounds. The T-shirt designs feature pictures of Escobar’s student ID card, his driver’s license as well as an array of other images that made the man famous. The T-shirts themselves retail for between $65 and $95, which definitely wouldn’t be considered chump change in a country where over 50% of the population lives in abject poverty.
The shirts are being met with a great deal of criticism from fashion critics. In an interview with Reuters, Sebastian said, “We’re not trying to make an apology for drug trafficking, to glamorize it in the way that the media does.” But the critics aren’t convinced, and neither are those who are in the fashion scene. Sebastian claims that the shirts are an effort to make people who buy them ‘reflect’ about the implications of drug trafficking. He says he wants people to reflect and think about what their life would look like if they decided to take up the same work that his father did.
The shirts originally went on sale last year in Mexico, and are selling out all over the country. Mexico isn’t the only company capitalizing on Escobar’s image, Sebastian also has stores in Guatemala, Austria and the United States. Critics say that Sebastian is glorifying the crime life, and that he is capitalizing off of the murderous life of his father, the world’s most famous drug lord. Sebastian has shot back by saying that it is the media who has benefited from his memory, especially Hollywood who has made millions off the drug lord’s crimes.
Either way, the subject matter is controversial, and I don’t think that we have to be concerned about seeing Sebastian’s work walking down a Paris runway anytime soon.