Behind the Scenes with the Makeup and Costume teams for Jose Cuervo

Our latest spot for Jose Cuervo posed a unique challenge– we needed to recreate the looks of many iconic creators, innovators, pioneers, and leaders down to every detail.

From period-specific makeup to distinct wardrobe decisions that placed viewers in a world unknown, every single piece of production was a whirlwind of creative thinking. We caught up with Chela Olea and Paola Alfaro, who led the charge on makeup and costume, respectively, to gain insight on how the complex and challenging looks came together.

Chela Olea

How did the specific time periods illustrated in the spot impact the choice of makeup to be used and your overall process?

We were so lucky. Cuervo has been a dream project, one where research and focus are very important. We wanted to be precise and detailed with every single character, and that’s why the communication with Isaiah (Seret) and Nancy (Steiner) was so crucial. As a makeup artist, I think it was a great opportunity to show the different techniques based on the language of color and the textures of every single period. Wigs were a very important element of this project, so we chose the most similar fibers and very specific makeup details to develop and achieve a well-rounded character, that in the end, looked as a portrayal of a history book.

What sort of role does makeup play in this spot?

It’s very important! Historical roles are more challenging because our cast doesn’t have the same physical features, such as bone structure or similar hair color, amongst many other things. So we need to part from there and through the use of prosthetics and special effects makeup we bring the character to life. We were so lucky to have Stephen Bettles and Luis Garcia to make this magic happen!

What was a highlight of the project?

It was very exciting! So many characters in such a short time. The task was very demanding, but the crew killed it!

Paola Alfaro

The spot is full of historical characters, each from their distinct time period. How did you go about choosing costumes that were both cohesive within the overall story and captured each character’s specific space in time?

The director had a very specific vision of the characterization he wanted to achieve with each character and the challenge the wardrobe department had was to obtain, create, and transform, so that these characters can assimilate to the sought after reality and give the film the perfect context.

The costumes are essential elements in this spot. How did you work with the rest of the team to ensure the creative vision came to life?

First off, we had the opportunity to work with Nancy Steiner and Tasha Goldthwait, who are professionals of the highest level. Working alongside them and with my team here in Mexico, we investigated profoundly and exhaustively, from renting warehouses to the creation and selection of clothing, fabrics confections, and styling. The dialogue was fluid and we took the creative process to a level of excellence for the director and the client.

What was a highlight from the project?

To be able to place each character in its time, working with all the departments involved, and feeling like we travelled through time where all of these characters were interacting in the party of the century.

Watch the spot above and hear more about how it came together here.