L’Officiel Arabia: What does it mean to be on the cover of L’Officiel Arabia?
Juanpa: Being two kids who grew up in Mexico City and then suddenly having opportunities like this feels out of this world. There’s a very big sense of pride in where we come from. The fact that we can help bring that recognition to our country through L’Officiel means a lot. It proves that Mexico as a country and its people can make an influence on a global scale. It gives a very big purpose to what we’re doing.
Andy: It’s crazy to think about the fact that my first memory with Juanpa was playing silly games and activities. It was just being us. I feel proud for my brother, and what we have done. We got to another country, and then another continent from just being us, the same silly guys. It can be a small flame that inspires other Mexicans and Latinos to believe that you can reach different parts of the world from just being you.
LOA: Have you visited the UAE or the Middle East? What was your experience?
Juanpa: We went to Dubai in 2018 for New Year’s Eve. We went with the entire family for the first time ever to that part of the world. We also visited Abu Dhabi briefly. It’s crazy to see how there’s a whole different world out there, especially in America, that people don’t really know about. When it comes to technology, entertainment, and pushing the limits, Dubai is absolutely insane.
Andy: It’s a whole new world. We’re used to being in America, sometimes Europe. To go to that part of the world for the first time in our lives, we saw a new culture, new technology, and different types of businesses. It felt enriching to our knowledge of culture. We’re not the only culture on this planet.
Juanpa: There’s one thing we always try to do as a family, and that is once or twice a year, we travel together. My mom and dad really pushed in our childhood to make that happen. My dad would prioritize saving money so he could take us on vacation. As Andy, my other brother, and I started being successful, we’ve kept that tradition. Now it’s us taking our parents on vacation, and Dubai was definitely the peak of it. We got to meet with the Prince, which was insane. We played paddle ball with him and he showed us this secret pool that they had where you can go deep diving and scuba diving.
LOA: Going back to how amazing family is, talk to me about how amazing it was to do this shoot as brothers for the first time on a cover. How important is family to you guys?
Juanpa: It feels weirdly comfortable. It’s just like any other day. When Andy and I are together, we don’t change. It doesn’t matter where we are. We keep that essence, and particularly now where we are doing this high-end shoot with crazy outfits and crazy locations. The whole time was comfortable and had such good energy. We were making videos together when we were 16 or 17, and now in the blink of an eye, we’ve actually made it. It’s so awesome to know that even though things have changed on the outside, things are the same on the inside. It’s a dream come true to have a magazine that is at this level to be the first one that we do together. We’ve never done any magazines together.
When it comes to family, we’ve always tried ways to support each other in different ways. It can be emotional, professional, or personal. It’s not only with me and Andy, but also with my sister Paola, my brother Fernando, my mom, and my dad. We grew up with a sense of teamwork. When we can, we show support. When I started, Andy was the only person who wanted to shoot videos with me, and he was the only audience that existed. As long as he was laughing, that was enough for me to keep going, and to keep trying things. Throughout life, we have boosted each other up. I feel that this magazine is a result of that unity.
LOA: Would you say that you’re family instilled from a very young age, the importance of teamwork and being there for one another?
Andy: Absolutely! My parents always, as Juanpa said, prioritized their kids, and the experiences of their kids. It could be traveling to Europe, or to the weekend play nearby. It was all about the experience of getting all their children together in a place that was out of their comfort zone and had them learning about everything. There was unity and a lot of helping one another.
LOA: How does it feel to give back to your parents now that you guys are so successful in the way they gave so much to you growing up?
Juanpa: It, of course, feels right in a lot of ways. I feel that every kid wants to give back to their parents, and you just hope that through your work, and the opportunities that life throws at you that you get to that day. When you get it done, you get a special satisfaction because there’s so much sacrifice behind being a parent. As you grow up, you start to realize how much sacrifice your mom and dad have done for you. All you want to do is to give back. It feels nice to be able to give them a time of fun and relaxation.
Andy: When you give back to your parents, you enter a positive cycle. Giving back to them is a reflection of being proud of them.
LOA: Betty Palomino is the executive producer of this shoot. How does her story inspire you? Are you looking forward to her upcoming book?
Juanpa: We started hearing about Betty a couple of months ago. Her story was insane to believe because of how she became paralyzed from the waist down after her skiing accident, and the doctors told her that it was not possible for her to walk again. She even went to physical therapy to understand her life in a wheelchair. Surprisingly, she kept on going, and now she walks and she went through a lot after that also. Getting to meet her and getting to listen to her story in person really makes you grateful. She is a source of inspiration. We live in a society where we think things are established as they are, but the truth is nothing is. It’s a constant learning process.
Now that she is going to put everything in a single book is very powerful. If we were impacted by her story, I’m sure her book is going to be able to set a strong mindset in other people, not only those who have been in accidents but in general, people who have gone through ups and downs. These are the types of stories that deserve to be echoed and deserve to be pushed around the world because they can have an actual important impact on the life of others. It's inspiring to see how Betty Palomino went from being paralyzed to the CEO of two roofing companies in Atlanta.
LOA: What would you say are the biggest lessons you’ve learned that have shaped who you are today?
Juanpa: Every decision that you take can generate a massive impact on your life, either positive or negative. You’re not only able to work to your goals by saying yes to all your opportunities but also by saying no. I think that has resonated with me recently because if you say yes to everything, you can’t really move or do anything right. It’s equally as important to say no to those things that don’t connect with or resonate with you properly, even if they sound like a good opportunity.
Andy: There’s a saying in Spanish when translated is, ‘It’s much better to have one thing well done, rather than having plenty of things unfinished.’ Something that I learned during quarantine is that the discipline that you can have every day can change the way you live your life. Time goes by so fast, and that’s something I didn’t start appreciating until I was older and then quarantine hit, and everything was going by too fast. Having a good cycle in your day, with different types of disciplines, whether it’s getting up early or showing gratitude, can really change your mind.
LOA: Tell me more about your shared love for music and your playlists.
Juanpa: Even though we’re quite similar, we’re also very different. Life has taken us through different journeys and countries. As the years go by, it’s inevitable that there will be distance as everyone works on developing and achieving their dreams. There’s one thing that we kept as a constant thing, and it’s music. We have this certain playlist that we create together, and every time I hear a really good song, the first thing that comes to my mind is that I need to share this with Andy. I need to send it to him. Every time I get a message from him with a Spotify link, I can’t wait to hear it. I feel like anyone who is reading this can relate that when you listen to a new song, and you like it, it’s a good sensation. That has been something that has connected us, and it’s cool to see how L’Officiel took that and evolved it to the cover.
Andy: As both of us say, we’re so different and so similar. Even in music, we both have similar tastes in genres but we’re also different. Our similar tastes include tropical house, EDM, reggaeton, rock n roll, and 80s oldies.
LOA: What projects do you currently have in the works? What can fans expect from you coming up?
Juanpa: As a content creator, jumping into bigger platforms is a goal. After 7 years of producing short content and slowly starting to go into longer formats, being able to create content for platforms like Netflix, HBO, Amazon, seems like the most organic thing to do. I feel ready now. I opened up a production company called Arco, which is arc in English. We are now producing a documentary that hopefully we can announce this year along with which platform it will go on. There’s also a show on HBO Max that will premiere before the year ends, called Juanpa+Chef. Selena Gomez did the US version, and it’s basically 6 other top chefs of the world and the journey of learning how to cook crazy dishes. This year, I’ve pushed the limits by climbing mountains, skydiving, and learning backflips. All these challenges don’t compare to cooking because I really don't know how to cook.
Andy: I have my clothing brand called Fabrica De Oxígeno. The reason behind the name is that for every piece of cloth you buy, we are planting a tree in Yucatán in Mexico. Fabrica De Oxígeno is going to be releasing different types of collections that benefit the environment. We’re both excited in creating more content in streaming, and to keep innovating and evolving.
Juanpa Zurita @juanpazurita
Andy Zurita @andymtzurita
PRODUCTION: Burgerrock Media @burgerrockmedia
PHOTOGRAPHER: Reinhardt Kenneth @reinhardtkenneth
VIDEOGRAPHER: Thierry Brouard @premium_paris
STYLING: Emily Alvarez @Emily.alvrez
GLAM: Araseli tapia @byg.aralovez
CREATIVE PRODUCTION: Irma Peñuñuri @burgerrock
Sofia Rivera @sosofiar
Karla Gonzalez @Karlitaa21
INTERVIEW: Kayley Hamilton @kayleyhamilton_
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Betty Palomino @bapalomino
LOCATION: La Valencia Hotel @lavalenciahotel