Jerry Lorenzo is the founder of Fear of God , a luxury streetwear label that has garnered the interest and support of Virgil Abloh , Kanye West and Gucci’s Michele Alessandro since its launch in 2013.
The son of former professional baseball player and coach Jerry Manuel, Lorenzo was born in Sacramento, California but moved around frequently during his upbringing. After studying at Florida A&M University — for which he later designed a special colourway as part of his sneaker collaboration with Nike — Lorenzo moved to Los Angeles to obtain an MBA from Loyola Marymount. He worked in the stockroom at Diesel alongside his graduate studies, being promoted to store-front work after selling over $5,000 worth of merchandise in a one-off shift.
Lorenzo then went on to manage corporate sponsorships for the LA Dodgers and subsequently worked in marketing for a sports agency in Chicago. In 2008, he returned to LA, carrying out a successful stint as a party promoter, which he credits with teaching him the importance of personal branding and creating desirability around an experience or product.
Despite having no formal training in fashion, Lorenzo decided to change career path after becoming a father by setting up his own clothing line, which he self-funded with $14,000 of savings. His debut collection was a success, with Virgil Abloh summoning him to Atlantic City to share the pieces with Kanye West. Lorenzo would go on to collaborate with West on several projects including a collaboration with A.P.C., Yeezus Tour merchandise and Yeezy Season One.
Fear of God also piqued the interests of Justin Bieber, who was looking to redefine his style and merchandise in keeping with his 2016 Purpose world tour, and Kendrick Lamar, whose tracksuit worn on the Damn tour was designed by Lorenzo. The designer’s roster of celebrity clientele further include former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Michael B Jordan, Ellen DeGeneres, Beyoncé and Jared Leto — who, despite being a spokesperson for Gucci, was given dispensation to appear in Fear of God’s sixth collection campaign because Alessandro Michele is such an admirer of the brand.
With no external investors, Fear of God is a completely independent. From 2013 to 2019, its year-on-year revenue has doubled.