By: Haley Bosselman By: Haley Bosselman | May 17, 2022 | Food & Drink People
Have you ever wanted to feel like LeBron James? It’s not something we can exactly guarantee, but we think you can get pretty close to it by sipping a cocktail with Lobos 1707, the tequila brand for which he is a company shareholder.
Lobos 1707 sprouted from the brains and lineage of founder Diego Osorio. Using his background in Hollywood and research skills, he has transformed his family’s roots in the tequila business into a booming spirits brand that is all about being intentional, audacious and genuine.
As Lobos 1707 celebrates a stellar start to 2022, Osorio sat down with Modern Luxury to talk about his family history, finding inspiration in wolves and his favorite Lobos 1707 cocktail.
While seeking to deepen the connection to your family roots, you discovered your great-great-grandfather, also named Diego Osorio, aged tequila in sherry wine barrels. What was it like making this discovery and how did that moment evolve into Lobos 1707?
I always knew I had a great-great-grandfather that traveled to Mexico, but never knew his name or his love for tequila. Tequila has always been my drink of choice, so if I ever decided to go into the spirits business, I knew it had to be that. However as a storyteller, I also needed to know that there was a story worth telling through the brand. It wasn’t until I remembered my great-great-grandfather and started researching that I learned we are connected not only by our shared name, but also in our shared passion for extraordinary tequila. So, deciding to create a tequila to honor my family and his legacy while still following my passion of storytelling was a no-brainer, but at first it was just supposed to be something for my family and friends. It wasn’t until I met LeBron James and Maverick Carter that the decision to share Lobos 1707 with the rest of the world was made.
Diego Osorio and LeBron James
Lobos 1707 launched in November 2020. Did you face any major obstacles launching during such a precarious period of the pandemic?
The thing that was most difficult for me was that we had to build a team without being able to meet in person. That killed me because Lobos 1707 is all about sitting down at the table, having a drink and coming together as individuals to make one strong pack (Lobos means ‘wolves’ in Spanish). That is obviously harder to do over Zoom. Luckily, the team we have built is one of the most creative and hardworking groups of people I have ever met. We came up with the vision and were able to launch in the middle of a pandemic. To summarize, I guess the biggest lesson is how true the Heraclitus saying is: “The only constant in life is change.”
How has your background in Hollywood influenced your approach to developing the Lobos 1707 brand?
In Hollywood, storytelling is everything, so that has influenced it all. I don’t think titles mean much, but I’m not only the founder of Lobos 1707, I’m the chief creative officer, so my background has helped me think through a different lens to ensure storytelling touches every aspect of the business and that the inspiration and heartbeat behind our brand comes across in all places that Lobos 1707 shows up – from creative concepts to marketing materials, branding and more. I’m just pivoting my skills from in front of or behind the camera to building the creative vision for what Lobos 1707 will be in the years to come. So, even before founding Lobos 1707, storytelling was my passion and creating the brand and brand vision was another way to do that.
How has the idea that there’s always room at the table been beneficial to Lobos 1707’s growth and evolution?
Our mantra of “Build a Bigger Table” is ingrained in everything we do: outfacing and to every aspect of the inside of the business. Everyone is welcome at the table and if it's not big enough, we will build a bigger table. But, you can not welcome everyone if your table doesn’t look welcoming and diverse to start with. I launched Lobos 1707 in 2020 with a vision to disrupt the tequila industry with a brand that is inclusive and celebrates unity. Our team was intentionally built to be 50% women and over 60% ethnically diverse. We believe that consumers resonate with this mission. We were just the top-selling liquor overall for both February and March on Drizly. Every member of our pack has played a critical role in the brand’s success, and for that I will be forever grateful. We’re still here and growing.
Dia Simms has a wealth of spirits knowledge. What makes her the perfect CEO for Lobos 1707 and how would you describe your working relationship?
From the first moment we decided to take this brand from one for friends and family to making the whole world part of our pack, I knew that I needed someone who would help me get there. Just like you said, there is no one more perfect for the role than Dia. She was intrigued by the idea, but it wasn’t until she tried the liquid that she said yes. The best way to describe our relationship is that we let each other do what the other is best at doing. I am very fortunate to work alongside her and learn from her everyday.
See also: NHL Champ Chris Chelios Talks El Bandido Yankee Tequila, Giving Back and Sustainability
Lobos 1707 encourages unity, legacy and authenticity. Why do you consider these your top priority?
Lobos means wolves in Spanish, and if you know anything about wolves or wolf culture, they stick together and they protect each other. If one falls, they all fall. If one is victorious, they all are. We’ve built our entire brand on that mentality. The heartbeat and mission behind Lobos 1707 is to foster inclusivity and creativity. We believe that our brand and liquid brings people together and our table is only getting bigger.
We recently launched a new campaign film, “Build a Bigger Table: All for the Pack,” which highlights and celebrates every individual who helped bring this brand to life. Viewers go on a journey, witnessing the bottle being passed along from the founders, investors, jimadors, distillers, mixologists, industry leaders and collaborators who have all worked together to create Lobos 1707. And the table at the end is inspired by what we do. We gather around the table to celebrate life and make room for anyone who shares our same values and wants a seat. And if there’s not enough room, we’ll build a bigger table.
June is right around the corner. What is your favorite Lobos 1707 cocktail to sip on during warm summer nights?
My idea of a perfect summer night cocktail is a pitcher of spicy pineapple margarita made with our joven or reposado tequila, shared with friends.
This interview has been edited.
Photography by: Courtesy Lobos 1707