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Designer Jerry Lorenzo releases spring Essentials, new baseball-inspired pieces

Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
 2021-05-14
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Jerry Lorenzo poses with his family for the Essentials collection that features kids clothing for the first time. (Shaniqwa Jarvis)

Jerry Lorenzo’s Essentials spring 2021 collection practically sold out upon its online release Wednesday. But those who still want to get their hands on the coveted clothing have hope as the clothing is available in global retailers Friday, including a special collaboration with Nordstrom called Concept 013: Fear of God.

The husband and father of three enlisted his family to pose for the latest Essentials look book. This is the first time Essentials has offerings for kids. He’s had many landmark campaigns in the past, including using his grandmother’s couch for Fear of God’s fifth collection and enlisting rock star Jared Leto for an ethereal sixth collection campaign, but on Instagram, he called this latest shoot “my greatest lookbook to date.”

“The core of Fear of God has always been solution-based, what encompasses a modern wardrobe for everyone, from tailoring options to lounge options for home at all points of your life,” Lorenzo said to The Times via email. “As I grow older, and have kids and a family, so has my friends and circle, so it seemed like a natural progression for us to provide these new solutions for our lifestyles.”

As the son of major league manager Jerry Manuel and having had aspirations of working in baseball himself, Lorenzo’s inspirations draw heavily from the sport. Fear of God’s seventh collection pays homage to the Negro Leagues and Lorenzo’s family ties to the national pastime.

“We just really went down this deep hole in storytelling around these graphics really speaking to America’s history,” Lorenzo told The Times in September, “and also celebrating the true roots of who I am as a person and my legacy and being a product of the second generation from the Negro Leagues and just trying to always keep this thing as honest as possible.”

Lorenzo started the luxury brand Fear of God in 2013 and added the more accessible Essentials in 2018 after a stint with F.O.G., a diffusion line that didn’t quite match the designer’s vision for what he wanted his brand to be. Essentials has become the money maker for Lorenzo. He recently added Fear of God Athletics as the third pillar of his brand after signing a partnership with Adidas in December.

Nordstrom’s Concept 013: Fear of God will feature pieces from the label’s seventh collection, Essentials, New Era hats and footwear. There will also be exclusive capsules for Fear of God and Essentials featuring jackets, pants and hats. Prices range from $40 for a boy’s Essentials T-shirt to $2,995 for a Fear of God leather jacket.

Nordstrom’s SVP of Designer and New Concepts Sam Lobban said that Lorenzo’s role as a storyteller and vision for his brand were exactly what the New Concepts project, which has also worked with Union’s Chris Gibbs, represents.

"[Lorenzo’s] design perspective across price points and really making it super accessible without compromise, that’s something that Jerry talks about and I think it’s really interesting the way that he is being able to do that,” Lobban said to The Times, “and that’s really what we wanted to try and do with the spaces themselves.”

The family featured in the Concept 013: Fear of God campaign is Erik Ian Schaetzke, a Los Angeles-based creative who’s shot several campaigns for Lorenzo; his wife, who owns a juice bar; and their three children.

“His family just really represents the aspirational Los Angeles family that defies the 9-5 American Dream and shows that you can have family, and have dreams that are outside the system,” Lorenzo said. “Something about that was just very impactful for me. I felt like he did a tremendous job in intentionally designing into his life, so they are the best family for this collaboration.”

Fear of God hosted the Atmosphere retail experience in 2019 to sell clothing from its sixth collection and the famous Nike Air Fear of God 1 sneaker. Lorenzo also sold an Essentials collection that was in partnership with Nipsey Hussle‘s The Marathon Clothing.

“I like to think that the brand gets better the more you get to know it, whether that is our customer seeing a campaign image, buying a blazer and touching, putting it on for the first time, discovering small details about it for the first time that they never knew, the love for that piece just grows,” Lorenzo said. “The immersive experiences are just another layer on top of that touchpoint that brings our consumers closer to the brand, that puts them in an atmosphere that is 100% curated around the story we are trying to tell.

“So many times we sent our pieces to our retail partners, and gratefully they tell our stories on our behalf, but many times it’s extremely hard to tell the story exactly like how we want to tell the story. So whether it’s an atmosphere or a retail space, these spaces give us an opportunity to really immerse our consumers in our full idea, and no matter how digital the world becomes, these moments are extremely important to us.”

Concept 013: Fear of God is available online and at 12 Nordstrom locations nationwide, including Century City in Los Angeles, South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa and Fashion Valley in San Diego.

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