Narco culture explodes as El Chapo T-shirts sell off the racks

via Kartel Kollection, Streetwise Clothing and Perdiem Clothing

T-shirts with iconic images of Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquín “Chapo” Guzmán are the new hot fashion item this week after the drug kingpin escaped from a Mexican maximum security prison last Saturday night.

Fashion brands and stores such as Perdiem Clothing, Inked, Kartel Kollection and Streetwise clothing are selling all kinds of apparel featuring images of El Chapo.


"When we started printing Chapo Guzmán T-shirts we got a great response," Angel Rodriguez, a sales rep from L.A.-based Streetwise clothing, told Fusion. "When he got captured, we noticed the sales where coming down but when news broke that he escaped again, the T-shirts were flying off the shelves."

"Online sales are through the roof," he added. When asked if he thought the brand was glorifying the drug lord, Rodriguez said his company has never faced a complaint about that.

"People have reacted greatly to our T-shirts; they see him as a Robin Hood, he does good things for poor people and they respect the man," he said.

via Kartel Kollection, Inked, Perdiem Clothing and Streetwise Clothing.

A replica of the Ralph Lauren green polo worn by drug capo Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez Villarreal when he was captured in 2010 also appears to be back in demand.

via Streetwise clothing.

There's also apparel featuring Rafael Caro Quintero, founder of the Guadalajara cartel who was released from prison by a judge in 2013 and is believed to have murdered DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena in 1985.

via Kartel Kollection

El Chapo’s second prison break seems to have sparked a resurgence of so-called "narco culture," a movement that glorifies the lives of drug lords through folksongs, b-movies, the santa muerte cult and fashion.

Mexican authorities, it would seem, are not only struggling to find the fugitive crime boss, but also extinguish his subculture folk-hero status.


At an award show on Thursday night, singer Pitbull mentioned the drug lord in a warning to Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, whose hateful rants against Mexican immigrants have made news for weeks. "Trump, be careful of El Chapo,"  Pitbull said.

Related coverage:

Share This Story

Get our newsletter