Importance of Jerry Lorenzo - Founder of 'Fear of God'
Jerry Lorenzo - Founder of the streetwear label ‘Fear of God’ and original Angelino - has come a long way to get where he is. His first collection appeared in the hot spring of 2013, right after the shootings between Big Sean and Kanye West. His collection spoke to us straight from the streets of LA, inspired by the fashion scene in the late 80’s and early 90’s. It quickly became highly acclaimed by the fashion community.
Lorenzo originally started off by making high-end pieces designed to be worn as daily wear. His line ranged from flannel tops, pull-over hoodies, sweatshirts and drop crotch sweatpants. Within only a couple of years, he has solidified a signature aesthetic - one which he calls “chic grunge,’ that deftly blends Rock ‘N’ Roll and religious references into deceptively simple garments. The emphasis on the layering and oversized silhouettes lends a contemporary vibe to the late 20th century-inspired threads. This eventually gained a co-sign from Kanye West himself, who hired the designer to be apart of his creative team.
Work with Kanye:
“Years ago, I wouldn’t have given myself the credit of having a strong enough perspective to be in a room with him. But it was Kanye that said “I like that long T-shirt. Can you show me your whole collection? I like your perspective. Can you come with me and work on my A.P.C collab? Can you come with me and design my tour merch” Can you come…,” and do all the things that we did together.”
About Breaking the Traditional Fashion Industry Model:
“I’ve done it my way, which was kind of out of ignorance. I didn’t care about seasons and I didn’t care about fashion shows or anything like that. I just cared about my point of view and what I was trying to propose, and I knew that if I could show this to my customers, it would work. Living with social media and Instagram, we have the power to directly speak to our audience. And I’ve never felt like I needed a fashion show to do that.”
Lorenzo didn’t always envision a career in fashion. He was born in Sacramento, but moved around quite a bit - to West Palm Beach, then to Chicago - so he and his family could be with his father Jerry Manuel, a major league baseball player turned minor league coach. After college, Lorenzo finished his MBA at Loyola Marymount in L.A. “I always felt like L.A. was a city of opportunity,” says Lorenzo. “So I came out here, was in grad school during the day and worked at Diesel at the Promenade at night.”
His first real jobs were in sports-handling corporate sponsorships for the L.A. Dodgers and later head of player marketing for Chicago-based sports agency CSMG, whose client roster at the time included Dwayne Wade, Matt Leinart, and Donovan McNabb. “I thought I was going to be a sports agent,” he recalls. But in 2008, Lorenzo moved back to L.A. and started throwing parties he called JL Nights. “There weren't any parties I could go to hear hip-hop and see people that dressed like me,” he says. “So we created that.” On any given night, you’d see celebrities like Pusha-T, Kid Cudi, or brand owners like Don C. “The Parties were legendary.”
Why Lorenzo Decided to Make Clothes:
“I felt like there was something missing in my closet, and if it was missing in mine then it must be missing from yours, too.”
Without any formal training in fashion, Lorenzo learned the ins and outs of launching a brand on his own. He sometimes would drive down to Downtown L.A. and pay someone to help him with his production needs. “I literally knew nothing,” he recalls. “I didn’t know about production, seasons, how to make a pattern. I took all the money I made from the clubs and put it into this conviction.”
He admits the early days of Fear of God were rough. “I got stolen from and taken advantage of,” he says. “I think I lost like $30,000 by people saying I needed to give money up front. People would tell me, "I need $10,000 to book this fabric and if you don’t book this fabric then you can’t make your T- shirts. There were a thousand instances like that. I even had a lot of product managers who were stealing from me.”
We celebrate Jerry Lorenzo who is now more than just a designer, but also a trendsetter and a fearless creator of a whole cult. That's why.
- FOG has 6 original collections - His designs are literally everywhere.
Kendrick Lamar began his «DAMN tour» in a black Satin Baseball Coaches Jacket by Lorenzo’s Fear of God. The only difference is that the “Manuel” tag on the back was swapped out for “Lamar” in white lettering.
- Justin Bieber has been photographed wearing Fear of God drawstring trousers while out in L.A. In 2016.
- Kanye West defied the Met Gala’s theme and wore a pair of the brand’s ripped jeans
- FOG x Vans Collab
For references, he used to create The Air Fear of God 1 and Fear of God SA.
The DNA of the Huarache Light, the Air Max 180, and even the Nike Mag. Lorenzo’s decision to utilize the last from a Fear of God sneaker brought in from Italy could be seen as the most important piece of the shoe.
Even retailers like Barneys and RSVP Gallery can hardly keep the product on its shelves. Fast-fashion retailers, like H&M and other labels have even sold imitations of Fear of God’s designs. Congrats, Jerry! You deserve it.