Guatemala-born LA streetwear designer Guillermo Andrade produces some of the freshest clothes on the planet and also happens to be a pretty big tequila fan. Recently, he teamed up with Hornitos on the Andrade Mentorship Program (AMP), a 10-week apprenticeship program, to guide an aspiring fashion creative.
As the head designer and co-founder of FourTwoFour on Fairfax in Los Angeles, Andrade knows something about style and substance. In this week’s Bottle Breakdown, we sat down with Andrade to learn about his creative process, how he likes to enjoy his tequila, and what it’s like to step into the new role of a mentor.
Spirited Zine: You’re now working with Hornitos. What is it about the brand that made them an attractive company to partner with?
Guillermo Andrade: I am very particular about what I want to achieve when working with a partner. I was lucky enough to come across a like-minded partner in Hornitos Tequila. They’ve always given me the freedom to go after my dreams, supporting and enabling me by fully embracing my creativity and objectives. It is a rare opportunity to find such a perfect match in a partner.
Hornitos champions those willing to take a chance to chase their passions, and they continue to be an advocate for shot takers all over the country who embody the same spirit that Hornitos was founded upon. So, I am very grateful for Hornitos’ continued partnership with my latest venture: the Andrade Mentorship Program.
SZ: You’re working with Hornitos on the Andrade Mentorship Program (AMP), can you tell us a bit about the mentorship program?
GA: AMP is a 10-week apprenticeship program to guide an aspiring fashion creative. Collaborating with Hornitos Tequila, I was able to launch it and give a shot-taking fan the opportunity to work directly alongside me in Los Angeles to learn the ‘ins and outs’ of what it takes to be successful in the fashion business.
The mentorship will allow them to learn various aspects of the fashion industry – from initial creative, to design, and even the sourcing of materials – all the way through to production and marketing for the final products. Our mentee will also get a chance to collaborate with me on my upcoming Fall streetwear collection.
SZ: What are the challenges with getting into the fashion business and what will the winner of the apprenticeship program learn during their 10-week experience?
GA: The fashion space is not a single entity. There are many different factors and talents that play into creating a successful brand. When you are in the field, you are able to experience every different facet that creates fashion – from conceptualizing, to production, development, creating and delivering the final product, all the way to the sale of the product and seeing your design appearing on consumers. Our selected mentee will directly experience these various processes with me daily to bring final products to market. The mentee will have the opportunity to be completely immersed along the way for a more hands-on approach to learning.
SZ: Creating streetwear and tequila might seem like very different pursuits to many, but both are creative processes that require mastery of craft. What are the similarities you see between making tequila and creating articles of clothing?
GA: To me, it’s all about respecting the full process and being willing to put in the time to see the creation through to achieve the best product. People will always be able to tell if you fully believe in what you’re creating. No matter the product – clothing or tequila – you must be fully invested in putting in the maximum effort.
Being a big tequila fan, an article of clothing definitely lasts a bit longer, though.
SZ: Can you tell us a bit about your creative process and how working with quality source materials and tradition play into it?
GA: In terms of tradition, I wholeheartedly believe it is so important to continue to respect and stick to the process you’ve created if it works for you. Particularly in the fashion space, it is crucial to remain consistent in a selected process —it fosters longevity and is what helps make a name for yourself in the industry. It’s ultimately what helps you stick around.
My creative process is centered around making the highest quality products at the best possible price. I want to ensure that consumers truly get their money’s worth on anything that I attach my name to. I want to always make sure I’m over-delivering on my promises.
SZ: Hornitos is all about taking that shot when it comes your way. If you look back over your career, was there a chance you took that you can point to that spurred you into the success you’re enjoying today and can you tell us about it?
GA: Deciding to take a chance at creating my brand 424 is the first big shot I took, and I’ve yet to stop taking shots to this day. When the opportunity presented itself, I committed eagerly and whole-heartedly, allowing myself to be open-minded about the whole process. Because I believe that wherever the opportunity takes you, you must really lend yourself to it to reap the full benefits.
I wouldn’t have been able to grow the brand to where it is today had I not boldly taken a shot at my true passion of streetwear design. I am grateful for Hornitos’ partnership and support, enabling me to take that next big shot in my career in the role of a mentor. Like Hornitos’ brand spirit, I believe that nothing great ever happens without taking a chance, and sometimes it takes getting out of your comfort zone to get closer to what you aspire to in life.
SZ: To dig into the tequila a bit, what’s your favorite way to enjoy Hornitos? Are there any cocktails you enjoy making with it?
GA: My go-to way to drink Hornitos Tequila is just simply on the rocks. The taste is smooth yet bold, I don’t feel I need to add anything additional to enhance the flavor. I love their Añejo in cocktails and always try to keep things simple and classic. But don’t sleep on their seltzer line either, their newest launch is extremely balanced and refreshing.