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Pablo Escobar: Fashion Icon?

Notorious drug kingpin Pablo Escobar may be dead but his image lives on in his son’s clothing line. Juan Pablo Escobar is the 36 year old son of the former head of the Medellin drug cartel. Rather than follow in his father’s bloody footsteps and become a psychopathic drug lord, Juan Pablo decided his future was in designing t-shirts…with his father’s face on it. The shirts are stamped with copies of documents relating to Pablo including his driver’s license and his high school ID. The documents are combined with pictures of Escobar and slogans like “Your privileges; are they fruits of your deception?” and “What will you do with your future?”. Deep, man. The question becomes: is it right to celebrate the life of one of the most notorious gangsters of the 20th century in fashion or is it just harmless fun?

Escobar is far from the only controversial murderer to have a second life as a fashion logo. I could get on the subway right now and get any number of Italian mob related shirts in Little Italy. Everyone from Lucky Luciano and Al Capone to fake gangsters like Don Corleone are on sale in every shop. Then there is the entire industry that cranks out Che Guevara or Mao Zedong shirts. That’s ironic not only because they were both controversial mass murderers but also because a Marxist makes a strange subject for line of capitalist goods. Juan Pablo Escobar says that his clothing line isn’t going to encourage anyone to turn to a life of crime.

No, but it isn’t going to discourage it either, is it? On the site he claims he is promoting peace and non-violence. I’m not quite sure how he’s accomplishing that by selling jeans and t-shirts with his dad’s face on it. Especially since the ad campaigns all show people looking badass in the clothes while drinking champagne and smoking cigars with lots of hot chicks around them. That sure looks like you are saying it is cool to be a drug lord. It’s not like he has people wearing the clothes in prison or getting shot. An image is worth a thousand BS words about peace and these images clearly say “It’s good to be the kingpin”. What about the thousands of families in Colombia and elsewhere that lost loved ones to Pablo Escobar’s violence? I’m sure they aren’t seeing a dime of the money made off of those shirts. It’s a sad testament to the world we live in that these shirts will probably sell more than cocaine at a Hollywood after party.

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