The Team

 
 
 

KAYLAN REXER

FOUNDING PARTNER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR

I grew up in a big family, with young hippie, politically charged parents, who opened an organic farm in the suburbs of New York.  My first concert was Tracy Chapman (age 7); my first sentence was "Walt Disney is a sexist."

I've always been interested in politics but hated the system’s bureaucracy. I figured more could be done by working outside of the system. You’ve probably seen our Donald Eres Un Pendejo campaign. 

When I was 16 I first traveled to Guatemala to visit my uncle, John Rexer, the owner of Ilegal Mezcal and Café No Se. There, with an old bass player named LaVon E. Calhoun, I played live music for the first time. At the age of 18 I went back down again to help organize a big benefit concert for an NGO called Niños de Guatemala.  I have been back every year since.

Right out of college I started working at an editing house, which was designing the visuals for Roger Water’s "The Wall" tour, the space served as Roger's headquarters. When Ilegal Mezcal was about to launch, I left the editing house, to help my uncles business.

I moved into a beat up old NYC loft, with no stove or fridge. It became home and office. I lived with two of John’s friends who had worked with him in Guatemala. The three of us helped launch the brand in the United States. At 4 am we put up our first street ad campaign with wheat paste around Manhattan, one of many late night adventures.

I now run our marketing at Ilegal Mezcal and am the Creative Director for 11C. I get to have my hands in design, music and politics on a daily basis. We are more than a booze company.  Some people say we are more of a cult than a brand...I'm okay with that.


1. Gilbert Marquez Pouring GIF.gif

Gilbert marquez  

global brand ambassador 

I grew up in a neighborhood in Anaheim where you were either in a punk rocker or in a street gang. I was in a political Spanish punk band called Venganza. I spent a lot of my teen years touring Cali and Mexico. Most our shows were benefit shows for immigration reform or after school youth programs.

I have a tattoo that says "ilegal" on my face ha.

I often travel to Oaxaca to stay current in what is new on the mezcal game, along with consulting on the bar and cocktail program for Casa Estambul (the owner is a Oaxacan artist named Dr. Lakra). 

I started my hospitality career at 320 main in Seal Beach, CA but I was a day laborer before that. After that I briefly moved to Atlanta. I got involved with Ilegal when John Rexer (the owner) came in to Escopion (first mezcal bar in Atlanta). He told me he was the owner of Ilegal, I wanted to show him a good time so obviously I proposed taking him to Diamonds of Atlanta and Waffle house. We became fast friends and to this day often travel together.

When I returned to LA, I lead the cocktail programs at well know Latin restaurants and lounges Mexicano, Mercado, El Carmen and Tacoteca. I have worked to develop my own personal style when making cocktails, playing not just with flavor but also with form and perception.