On the evening of April 19th, the iconic Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles was transformed into a runway as Fear of God debuted its first-ever fashion show. The brand, founded by Jerry Lorenzo, has become a signifier of new-age American luxury, and the event drew thousands of attendees. The anticipation was palpable, given that it was the brand’s inaugural fashion show in its ten-year history.
Choosing the Hollywood Bowl as the venue for the fashion show was a deliberate move by Lorenzo, who sought to reflect the brand’s evolution by acknowledging its history. The amphitheater, which has hosted some of the biggest international stars since it was built in 1929, had never before hosted a single-designer fashion show, except for a Calvin Klein benefit event in 1993, which celebrated its 25th anniversary.
Since Fear Of God’s emergence in 2013, the brand has become a signifier of new-age American luxury. Even with the label’s streetwear roots, its catalog of offerings with each passing season has opened the dialogue on what exactly is American luxury and who defines what its parameters are.
Celebrities, musicians, and athletes have long been drawn to Fear of God, exemplified by Jared Leto modeling the brand’s Sixth Collection lookbook. Lorenzo has built one of the fastest-growing fashion houses in the US by taking unconventional approaches. He has released collections through lookbooks and films, replaced the popular F.O.G. diffusion brand with Essentials in 2018, and collaborated with established brands like Zegna and Birkenstock.
Lorenzo’s designs are renowned for his clean, oversized silhouettes, designed with masterful precision. His creative process is based on whether he would wear the design himself, striving for effortless sophistication. After spending nearly three years on his latest collection, “Eighth,” Lorenzo’s personal style has evolved. Fear of God collections come out when they are ready, rather than seasonally.
Fear of God’s primary palette, featuring shades of greige, ice, and navy, encapsulates the sophisticated tones of modern SoCal style. The collection seamlessly merges the brand’s earlier use of elegant, subdued hues such as buttermilk, hazelwood, toffee, pewter gray, and black with sumptuous materials like wool, leather, faux fur, and cotton fabrics.
The runway looks were curated by color, starting with a model walking down the extended white runway wearing a flowy black suit that epitomized the sophisticated interpretation of Fear of God’s signature silhouette: oversized on top and slim through the legs. In this collection, Jerry Lorenzo expanded his range of textures, with a nubby beige overcoat, and similar silhouettes rendered in glossy brown fur, one worn by the skater Sage Elsesser who modeled in the show.
Jerry Lorenzo also introduced the highly anticipated debut of Fear of God Athletics, a collaboration with Adidas that’s been germinating for years. The collaboration includes, among other apparel, a moccasin-like sneaker high-top, fringed side-stripe track pants, cropped turtlenecks, and hats with a more subtle FOG version of the brand’s signature three-stripe logo.
The inclusion of Adidas pieces, such as shorts, baseball caps, and gym bags, was essential to completing the show. Moreover, the designer elevated the collection with the use of leather, seen in corded belts for blazers, suede-fringe western jeans, and large glossy moto pants in black and white. It is evident that Jerry Lorenzo has incorporated lessons learned from the well-received Fear of God x Zegna collaboration of 2020. The tailoring is impeccably balanced, featuring padded shoulders that smoothly extend over the model’s arms, and slimmed-down lapels, inspired by his ’80s-themed “Seventh” collection.
One of the most surprising moments of the night was the unexpected appearance of Kanye “Ye” West, the rapper and designer who has been one of Lorenzo’s biggest supporters since his early days. He showed up wearing a black mask and a hoodie that covered his face. He was spotted by some fans and photographers, who recognized him. West did not interact with the media or the other guests, but he seemed to enjoy the show. West has been a longtime supporter of Lorenzo and Fear of God, and he even wore some pieces from the brand during his Donda listening events. His presence at the show was a sign of respect and admiration for Lorenzo’s work.
Fear of God has solidified its position as a formidable force in the fashion world, transcending beyond the borders of streetwear and luxury fashion. The brand has managed to consistently capture the attention of an ever-evolving consumer base. Through its innovative designs, impeccable craftsmanship, and strategic collaborations, Fear of God has left an indelible mark on the industry, inspiring a new wave of designers and fashion enthusiasts alike.