Fashion

Jerry Lorenzo sold Bieber concert tees using religion

 

Toward the end of May 2009, a line snaked from Mercer Street to Sixth Avenue at the VFiles store on Mercer Street, a curious intersection of hysterical Justin Bieber fans and apathetically cool streetwear acolytes. What is the cause? People were able to purchase Purpose World Tour merchandise at the pop-up store outside of a venue for the first time. The collection, which included tees, sweatshirts, and Essential hoodies sprinkled with Bible references, was inspired equally by designers like Vetements and Raf Simons. Fear of God’s label owner, Jerry Lorenzo, who helped design the merch, is the man behind its seemingly disparate appeal.

God’s Fear is literally translated as Fear of God. “My household was centred around Christ as a child,” says Lorenzo. Lorenzo’s faith was recently galvanized, but it was entwined with everything he did. Despite believing in God, he admits he was not always a devout worshipper. As I came to L.A. I had a difficult time finding my place, and in doing so, I began throwing parties. Since I didn’t want to tarnish the Manuel name, I used my middle name, Jerry Lorenzo.”

As Lorenzo refocused his life and his faith, his Fear of God label began to take shape. Lorenzo’s clothing line was founded in 2013 and is heavily influenced by the limited secular references he grew up with. Figures like the Breakfast Club’s John Bender, Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, and NBA bad boy Allen Iverson left a lasting impression on his mind.

Those trends are manifest in timeless pieces such as red-plaid flannels with side zips layering over waffle-knit thermal shirts, brown fear of god essentials hoodie, and oversize bomber jackets with ruched sleeves. Often they use vintage materials, like repurposed military sleeping bags, along with high-end fabrics from Japan and Italy. They are also very expensive – from $150 for a Japanese cotton T-shirt with dropped shoulders to $1,095 for an oversize nylon bomber jacket lined with silk.

Lorenzo describes them as garments based on solutions, the kind that anyone can wear without having to think about it too much. Every layer complements the layer beneath it in this type of dressing. As well, it describes the current fashion trend that appears casual, yet is highly expensive.

Lorenzo releases his collections on his own schedule, unlike most traditional fashion brands. (His followers are aware of each collection release.) In a video set to Chris Tomlin’s “How Great Is Our God,” Lorenzo describes the label, “Fourth Collection,” as “God’s brand.” He doesn’t mean to suggest it is Christian clothing, rather it is meant to take the focus off of him. Lorenzo is fueled by humility similar to that of Russell Wilson, who attributes touchdowns to God.

Lorenzo, no matter how devout he is, is quick to dismiss the notion that his clothes are a direct expression of his faith, or that his clothes serve as a way to convert non-believers. As a result, he says he’s creating something that he’d love to see more of in the mainstream. “This is not a Christian brand,” he confirms. This is a brand that represents things he likes. One of those things is God.

The fear of God has both a mass appeal and roots in Christianity, which is known for rejecting rather than embracing certain things (such as gay marriages and the right to choose between men). In spite of its stark contrast to traditional Christian values, Lorenzo’s street culture does not fear recontextualizing its imagery. Skate magazine Thrasher sells merchandise featuring Jesus fish and Satanic pentagrams. Supreme.eme recently sold religious pamphlets-themed t-shirts. Virgil Abloh often references classic Caravaggio paintings in his Off-White and Givenchy collections.

 Perhaps authenticity is the keyword here. Fear of God can be compared to brands like Supreme, John Elliott, and Stampd – generally lumped under the catch-all term “streetwear” – for their honesty and self-awareness. There are clear narratives and language that define these brands, and it is this that fosters their particular connection to consumers. Interestingly enough, fear of God is the only one who thinks it’s okay to be both a believer in God and a believer in taste.

The fear of God has both a mass appeal and roots in Christianity, which is known for rejecting rather than embracing certain things (such as gay marriages and the right to choose between men). In spite of its stark contrast to traditional Christian values, Lorenzo’s street culture does not fear recontextualizing its imagery. Skate magazine Thrasher sells merchandise featuring Jesus fish and Satanic pentagrams. Supreme.eme recently sold religious pamphlets-themed t-shirts. Virgil Abloh often references classic Caravaggio paintings in his Off-White and Givenchy collections.

 Perhaps authenticity is the keyword here. Fear of God can be compared to brands like Supreme, John Elliott, and Stampd – generally lumped under the catch-all term “streetwear” – for their honesty and self-awareness. There are clear narratives and language that define these brands, and it is this that fosters their particular connection to consumers. Interestingly enough, fear of God is the only one who thinks it’s okay to be both a believer in God and a believer in taste.

Lorenzo does not view himself as a “designer” in the conventional sense. He’s more of a cultural sampler than a movie or music critic, like the references he mines for inspiration. inspiration. By remixing vintage pieces with a touch of modernity, he makes things he likes, such as adding a zipper to a pair of drawstring trousers so they can be worn over boots or high-tops, or ensuring that a denim jacket is washed in a cool, not overly processed way. He fits within the paradigm of cult labels like Stüssy and Supreme, which reinterpreted skate, punk, and reggae graphics for their graphic backbones. Many of the vintage tees he collects from heavy metal bands like Metallica, White Zombie, and Black Sabbath are repurposed with “Fear of God” or biblical screenprints into one-offs for his own collection.

Metallica is a great band to him, and if anyone wants to poke holes in that, I’m sorry – I think they’re dope. It is my intention to create light by using the pieces of culture that are typically associated with darkness.”

In 2013, Kanye West noticed Lorenzo’s line and recruited him to work on the Yeezy Season 1 design team. Lorenzo’s grunge-meets-Allen-Iverson style was perfectly in sync with West’s oversized dystopian aesthetic. Moreover, both artists were spiritually inclined. It is true that one of West’s earliest singles was “Jesus Walks.”

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