Fear of God Lights Up Hollywood Bowl With Eighth Collection Runway Show and Fireworks

From the Champagne reception to the soulful piano performance by singer songwriter Sampha, the 58-look runway extravaganza to parting rhymes from Pusha T and a fireworks finale, Jerry Lorenzo hosted the quintessential L.A. experience on Wednesday — a night at the Hollywood Bowl.

For the first-ever Fear of God runway show, Lorenzo wanted to give back “to the community that believed in me since Day One,” he said backstage. “This was a love gift to the kid who’s been with me for 10 years.”

And that kid came to the bowl flying Fear of God’s earthy colors, dressed for the evening chill in Essentials line sweats and the designer’s bold tonal tailoring that conjured a modern L.A. sartorial uniform from another time created by one Giorgio Armani.

Four thousand guests streamed into the iconic L.A. venue, which celebrated its 100th birthday last year. They took pictures of the Fear of God marquee, and the Streamline Moderne style white granite fountain depicting the muses of music, dance and drama, built in 1940 by George Stanley, the sculptor best known for creating the Academy Awards’ Oscar statuette.

About 2,000 were fans of the brand who scored tickets through the website, and half were friends and VIPs, including a masked Kanye West, who slipped in with new wife Bianca Censori, taking their seats near the raised runway built to extend from the stage to the boxes.

“It’s the last place in Los Angeles that feels iconic. Staples is Crypto [Arena] and the Coliseum is not what it used to be,” Lorenzo said, adding that he and his wife had seen Diana Ross, Steely Dan, Christopher Cross, Nas and many more perform at the venue.


He brought showmanship, too.

A circular green screen projected clouds over the stage as models emerged silhouetted from a light-filled doorway, as if stepping out from the gates of heaven.

Here was a vision of quiet luxury from a Black designer on the West Coast, with blanket-like tailored layers, long-line blazers cinched with leather cords, and trousers spilling over flat shoes. Outerwear was soft but had swagger, with bold and bolder shoulders. Layers of drawstring pants, turtleneck sweaters and duster coats had a relaxed polish that looks right for right now.

The only other designer to have ever presented a fashion show at the Hollywood Bowl was Calvin Klein in 1993, and there were hints of his legacy in Lorenzo’s gorgeous side-slit skirts over trousers, slouchy tank tops and oversized blazers. In the coat department, he had an embarrassment of riches, from classic Chesterfields to curly lamb extravagance.

“Would I wear it or not?” That’s the guiding design principle, Lorenzo said. “I have no intention in my bones to have a show piece. Like all those fur coats, I would rock,” he said. “Everything we do goes through a specific lens and that lens is the same since I was 5 years old getting dressed — how am I presenting myself to relieve someone of their preconceived notions of who I am? How am I effortlessly sophisticated?”

The designer also introduced his long-awaited Adidas product, including 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.

Backstage after the show, Lorenzo was reflective. “I wanted to share what American luxury looks like…but don’t overlook the cost,” he said, after hugging his wife, kids and his proud papa, former Major League Baseball player, coach and manager Jerry Manuel Sr.

“My dad tells me stories of his grandfather picking cotton and my staff brings me fabric books and I get to pick and choose the cotton. So there’s a freedom and there’s a responsibility that comes from a lot of pain,” Lorenzo told the media clutch. “But more than pain, it comes from love…Although we celebrate a country that’s immensely flawed, it’s one that holds a lot of faith and hope…Whether it’s fashion or sport or whatever medium you want to express yourself, this is the best place to do that.”

Indeed, there is more to Fear of God than just clothing; there’s also a message. That came through in the show’s music, which went from the protest song “Strange Fruit” to Ray Charles’ “America the Beautiful” with rap and piano in between.

“Understanding the bitter earth and the strange fruit that comes from that earth and the nuance of people trying to live in love together, sometimes there’s not words for that, sometimes it’s just a song, sometimes it’s just an emotion, sometimes it’s just Kanye making sounds with his mouth. And from all that comes beauty,” said Lorenzo. “And when you hear Ray Charles singing ‘America the Beautiful,’ it’s coming from a deeper place. What I also wanted to say is with Fear of God we are coming from a deeper place.”

Founded in 2013, Fear of God has been on an upward trajectory as it grows as a luxury player. On March 8, Alfred Chang, PacSun’s co-chief executive officer for 17 years, joined Fear of God as CEO. “Bringing on board the right CEO to further build the organization, culture and resources was critical at this stage of the brand’s trajectory,” Lorenzo said at the time.

In February, the brand took its first steps into retail with a pop-up shop opened in Hyundai Trade Center in Seoul. And in January, Fear of God introduced a buzzy collaboration with Birkenstock, a slide called the Los Feliz after the L.A. neighborhood.

Lorenzo follows his own fashion calendar, and introduced his last collection, titled “Eternal,” in April 2022. 

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