Our first experience of Puerto Rico was a press trip, organized by Rums of Puerto Rico. We stayed at the Hilton Caribe, spent our days at the Saborea food festival just across the bay, and our nights exploring the city. Last year, when we were deciding where to shoot the July issue of MR, we reached out to the recently opened W Hotel and Spa on Vieques Island, and our love for the ’51st state’ was cemented.

When summer came around again, we reached out to other hotels to see if anyone would have us over to shoot menswear in San Juan. The Olive Boutique Hotel accepted our proposal: a cover shoot and fashion spread shot in part at the property and in part around the colonial streets of Old San Juan.

Clothes from luxury brands like Kiton, Boglioli, Burberry and Etro were shot alongside edgier labels like Norse Projects, New Era, Avelon, and Lucio Castro. Our model Wil Aleman from Wilhelmina happened to be on the island for leisure, but agreed to a day spent shooting menswear in San Juan for the magazine.

The shoot was, for many reasons, one of the best we’ve worked on. And no doubt we’ll be back again soon…