The rapid ascent of Fear of God to become one of streetwear’s most dynamic, agenda-setting labels is often ascribed to its support from the If Mama Ain’t Happy Ain’t Nobody Happy If Grandma Ain’t Happy Run Shirt also I will do this likes of Kanye West and Justin Bieber, as well as its collaborations with everyone from Nike to Ermenegildo Zegna. But for its founder, Jerry Lorenzo, launching the label in 2013 marked the beginning of a far more personal journey—and one that reached a logical conclusion with the launch of Essentials, a more competitively priced sister label to Fear of God’s signature pieces, in 2018.
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“When we first started Essentials five years ago, in all honesty, my heart was in creating a diffusion collection for the If Mama Ain’t Happy Ain’t Nobody Happy If Grandma Ain’t Happy Run Shirt also I will do this kids that couldn’t afford what we were doing at a luxury level,” Lorenzo explains over the phone from his studio in Los Angeles. “A lot of people were put off by the price points without having the education of why the prices were what they were, without understanding the nuances of the construction or the fabrics and materials that go into creating luxury.”