Don Julio González-Frausto Estrada was just 17 when he founded his Tequila distillery, Tequila Don Julio.
The famed tequila brand, which is named after its formidable founder, was born in 1925 in the remote highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. An entrepreneur from the get-go, the teenage Gonzalez would journey across Jalisco on horseback, selling tequila from small wooden barrels and would soon be known as a true pioneer of agricultural techniques that set his brand apart, growing agaves further apart and allowing them to mature for longer, revolutionizing the tequila industry over his 60-year career.
The brand uses agaves (only 100 percent blue agave) grown in the microclimate and the mineral-rich red clay soils of Jalisco and harvested after seven to 10 years.
The spirits brand is gearing up to release its new global campaign for Por Amor with “A Love Letter to Mexico” on Wednesday, an anthem that celebrates modern Mexico and its people. Within this new venture, the brand has tapped Mexican-American fashion designer Willy Chavarria to reimagine Don Julio González’s famed hat as a new cultural symbol from Mexico with a custom hat created for the global campaign, a design that debuted at Chavarria’s spring 2024 fashion show Wednesday evening in New York City’s Woolworth Building.
“To me, it symbolizes so much, it symbolizes hard work, motivation and dedication to excellence, all of these characteristics that my grandfather had, and that also are characteristics of the original Don Julio González” said Chavarria.
The hat style, which is made from a wool felt, is shown in a variety of colors, including red, white, black and beiges, adorned with red roses on its brim, a flower that holds a special connection within Mexican culture.
“The way that the brand celebrates Mexican culture is very modern, very respectful to Mexican art and music and fashion influence and really touches in an elegant and sexy way that very much connects with my brand,” said Chavarria.
The campaign that was lensed by by Thalia Gochez and styled by Nayeli De Alba, a highly sought-after stylist and creative director, was shot entirely in locations throughout Mexico, resulting in a true testament to the brand’s profound appreciation for the country and the amazing culture it has to offer — all in looks provided from Chavarria’s previous collection.
“Tequila is such a cultural thing, because it’s something that is sometimes quite intimate, that you share with a close friend, but it can also be something very celebratory, that we used in a big, big way together. But tequila does always have this feeling of comfort and vibrancy,” added Chavarria.
To commemorate the campaign launch, the Tequila brand manufactured a limited and engraved Don Julio 1942 bottle, which will not be sold, instead an exclusive invite which was sent to VIPs ahead of Chavarria’s fashion show.