The Man Behind
Fear of God
Jerry Lorenzo never envisioned going into fashion because as a kid he was surrounded by sports. His father was a former Major League player and manager, Jerry “The Sage” Manuel. This led to a childhood of constantly moving and spending springs huddled up in a studio with his family. He came up from humble beginnings, as it wasn’t until he was in High School when his family was able to settle down. His natural career path would have been sports, which he followed and became an agent. Little did he know how the dots would be connected and a sport agent career would direct him to become a force in the fashion industry.
Jerry Lorenzo obtained an MBA from Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles while working at Diesel at the Promenade shops. After graduating, he obtained a job with a Chicago sports agency CSMG. It was only natural for him to be a sports agent, that’s what he grew up surrounded by. But in 2008, Lorenzo moved back to Los Angeles and began JL Nights. He was promoting parties that brought him notoriety in the LA scene. There, he met Dodger superstar Matt Kemp at one of his parties and began representing him for endorsement deals. He not only represented Kemp, he also became his stylist. One day he was shopping for Kemp and realized that he couldn’t find things that he wanted for his client, so he decided to take it upon himself to design clothing for Kemp. It was this moment he came to a realization as he explained in a 2017 interview with Complex, “I did it for him, but also for me. 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.” With no fashion training or industry experience, he decided to launch a fashion brand on his own. Taking all the money he made from JL Nights, he put it toward his clothing line, with no knowledge of production, seasons or how to even make patterns.
Photo: Fear of God
Photo: Fear of God
Tough learning experiences were had, but he was focused on making his new label a success saying, “As much money as I lost, I never lost the conviction that I knew I had something to say or offer.” In 2011 he decided to launch his company and call it Fear of God. The name came from early influence of his mother reading to him about the fear of God. He wanted a name connected to his Christianity. The first piece Lorenzo created was a short sleeve hoodie with cheap material he found in Downtown LA and put some expensive RiRi zippers so it would feel luxurious. This was followed by extra long t-shirts and it wasn’t long before a list of celebrity supporters lined up. His big break came when his wife introduced the long t-shirts to a friend of hers, who happened to be Big Sean’s stylist. Big Sean ended up loving the shirts and ordered more. Shortly thereafter he received a phone call from Kanye West. West asked Lorenzo to see his collection after coming across the long t-shirt. After seeing his collection West offered a job to Lorenzo to work on his A.P.C. collaboration and later projects with Donda for Yeezus tour merchandise.
From the moment Kanye signed on to support Lorenzo, he never looked back. He doesn’t follow the rules in the fashion industry. He releases a collection when it’s ready not abiding by seasons. He has a small team he works with, no large fashion houses full of designers. He has legions of fanatics and there is no slowing down on the frenzy. He found something he was talented in, and with pure confidence and little regard for industry experience he followed a passion and made something of it. What more can we ask for.