Celebrating 50 years of hip hop encompasses the music, culture, and fashion – Willie Montanez aka Willie Esco is a major fashion figure of the centennial celebration.
Willie’s streetwear collection burst on the fashion scene from 1996-2004 (with Willie as the Head Designer) receiving millions of dollars in sales from national retailers, national and international media coverage, and celebrity partnerships with Grammy award-winning artist Nas and more. The only streetwear brand with a Latino as the head fashion designer shifted gears after 2004 and Willie stepped away from his namesake brand. After nearly 30 years, this spring, Willie will proudly present his first resort capsule collection inspired by his Puerto Rican heritage.
“Nickname Esco” collection will debut the first week of June 2023 with an invitation-only preview and reception sponsored by Yave Tequila and Barrio BX including a fireside chat with celebrated journalist and Fashion Institute of Technology professor Elena Romero and will feature classic Willie Esco designed t-shirts with original acetate from 1996 in honor of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop and limited collection of men’s resort looks including Guayabera inspired shirts in silk, crochet, and linen in delicious colors – Off White, Blanco, Cafe and Bodega Gold.
“After years of experiencing the intricacies of building multi-million dollar brands from behind the scenes, I have decided to apply my honed expertise to my very own brand, Willie Esco. With strategic planning and a clear vision, I am excited to celebrate our Latin culture and 50 years of hip hop through my namesake brand,” says Willie about presenting his upcoming resort collection.
In addition to revitalizing his collection, Willie, a Newark, NJ raised and graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, successfully owns and operates Escobar & Sons, (E&S) a design and licensing firm. In conjunction with long-time collaborator Paul Estevez, President & Co-Founder, Culture Creative, Willie is the Founder and Creative Director that identifies, cultivates, develops, and pairs brands, in retail, wholesale, and DTC to the best talent and opportunities in the industry. Esco & Sons partnerships with celebrities and collaborations with multi-million dollar brands include: MLB, DAVOUCCI, PUMA, NIKE, REEBOK, ADIDAS, BAD BOY, FUBU, SEAN JOHN, WE ARE LITTLE GIANTS, KITH, SUPREME, SNIPES, ATMOS, TUPAC SHAKUR ESTATE, RAG & BONE, BE@RBRICK, PATTA, LO LIFE, DROPP TV, DAME DASH and DAYMOND JOHN of SHARK TANK.