Yola Jimenez on Mexico’s Surrealist Spirit

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Yola is wearing a checked wool and mohair blazer and feather harness by Maison Margiela. Polyester turtleneck with pearl embroidery by Y/Project. And checked wool trousers by GucciPhotography by Casper Sejersen, Styling by Nell Kalonji

For Mezcal maker Yola Jimenez, an anecdote about André Breton, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera best epitomises her home country’s innate Surrealism

“An anecdote about André Breton going to Mexico for the first time makes me laugh. In 1938, he was invited by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera to give a lecture on Surrealism. He was there for a while, and wanted to design a table for his lecture. So he drew the table he wanted, in perspective, and took it to a carpenter. The carpenter assured him that he’d have it done within the week. When Breton returned, the carpenter had it ready but he’d made the table exactly as it appeared in the drawing – it was this crazy table with short legs, absolute madness. He said, ‘I don’t need to lecture anyone on surrealism, Mexico is already surrealist’. That’s why I’m so inspired by Mexico. It’s a chaotic place where things only work half the time, so you have to grow up with a sense of humour and patience. But it makes you believe in magic and gives a sense of the impossible.”

Growing up in Oaxaca, Mexico, Yola Jimenez has known Mezcal her whole life. Her grandfather ran his own distillery, producing the eye-watering spirit for family consumption. Using the same recipe today, that distillery makes Yola Mezcal, supplying some of the finest establishments in New York and Los Angeles. The traditional Oaxacan drink is made from the heart of the agave plant, the smoky-tasting piña, which is roasted underground and then fermented. As well as being run by women – Jimenez helms the enterprise alongside business partners Gina Correll Aglietti and the singer Lykke Li – the distillery is entirely staffed by women in a bid to empower the local community.

Hair: Blake Erik at Statement Artists using Hairstory. Make-up: Susie Sobol at Julian Watson Agency. Set design: Ian Salter at Frank Reps. Digital tech: Frederike Heide. Photographic assistants: Christopher Parente and Max Bernetz. Styling assistants: Rebecca Perlmutar, Kat Banas and Athena Zammit. Make-up assistant: Ayaka Nihei. Set-design assistant: George de Lacey. Production: Artistry London. Post-production: Studio Private

This story originally featured in the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of AnOther Magazine, which is on sale now.