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Fear of God Celebrates Freedom and Elevated Basics at Debut Show

Designer Jerry Lorenzo unveiled his eighth collection at the Hollywood Bowl Wednesday, with looks from his long-awaited partnership with Adidas.
Fear of God show at the Hollywood Bowl on April 19.
In addition to pieces from the Adidas collaboration, the Fear of God runway show Wednesday featured new categories — women’s footwear and handbags — as well as the label's signature elevated everyday basics. (Cathaleen Chen)

LOS ANGELES — Fear of God designer Jerry Lorenzo has long defined his take on American luxury as an expression of freedom: the physical and spiritual freedom of wearing smart, stylish clothing that’s also comfortable.

On Wednesday evening, Lorenzo put on the brand’s first runway show at the historic Hollywood Bowl in its native Los Angeles. Featuring 56 looks — some made in partnership with German sportswear giant Adidas — the show was scored to classics from the canon of Black American music, opening with an Abolition-era gospel number and ending with Ray Charles’ rendition of “America, the Beautiful.”

“I grew up with my dad telling stories of his grandma picking cotton… and I have the luxury where my staff brings me fabric books and get to pick and choose the cotton that we use,” Lorenzo told reporters backstage, after the show. “There’s a freedom and a responsibility that comes from a lot of pain, but more than pain it comes from love.”

In addition to pieces from the Adidas collaboration, the collection featured new product categories — women’s footwear and handbags — as well as the elevated basics and tailored staples in neutral tones that, in recent years, have helped to catapult Fear of God to mainstream popularity.

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“There’s no intention of making a show piece,” Lorenzo said. “Everything goes through a specific lens and that lens is the same lens as when I was 5 years old getting dressed.”

Between 2020 and 2022, Fear of God tripled revenues, in part due to the success of its lower-priced basics line Essentials, which made a killing selling soft hoodies and sweatpants when many people were working from home. Its more expensive main line fits into the “quiet luxury” trend with its understated details and a fit that suggest a laid-back but refined taste.

“We were in a great position when everyone wanted to wear sweats and jumpers, and we had reached a place where Essentials were strong enough and the machine behind that was able to suffice the market’s demand,” Lorenzo said onstage at BoF VOICES in December.

“You don’t have to be in a stiff suit to feel sophisticated,” he added. “I like to be the quietest in the room and I’m hoping that when someone wearing Fear of God enters the room that their individuality speaks louder than their clothes.”

2023 is set to be a big year for the label. In the coming months, Fear of God will launch a full collection with Adidas. Later this year, the brand will also open its first retail location, a flagship store in Los Angeles.

“Our brand is evolving authentically with selfishly how my life is evolving,” Lorenzo said in November, citing Fear of God’s kids’ offering, which he launched after having three children.

“What I see for another 10 years is that we continue to make product that’s sustainable in the sense that you just want to buy into it once and hold onto it for a long time.”

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About the author
Cathaleen Chen
Cathaleen Chen

Cathaleen Chen is Retail Correspondent at The Business of Fashion. She is based in New York and drives BoF’s coverage of the retail and direct-to-consumer sectors.

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