Lately, we’ve been seeing a lot of Fear of God inspired customs out there. One of the most notable is the pair of Fear of God cleats that Stefon Diggs, wide receiver Minnesota Vikings wore at Jacksonville two weeks ago. Angelus Direct’s own sponsored artists, the legendary sneaker customizer Mache, was the mastermind behind these cleats. Love it or hate, appropriating another brand’s logo plays a huge part of the aesthetic that has made Fear of God so popular.
Founded by Jerry Lorenzo in 2012, the brand seemingly came out of a nowhere with a range co-signed by the likes of Kanye and J. Bieber. Lorenzo doesn’t have a formal training in fashion design, but worked in high end retail, and then as a stylist/brand manager for athletes. Somewhere along the way he came out with his own range titled “Collection 1.” While it’s no doubt that FOG has become a hit since its inception, the brand has yet to shake off the conversation around “paying homage,” “taking influence,” or “ripping off” the 80’s/90’s aesthetic that dominates each collection.
With each collection, Lorenzo has maintained a grunge/80’s metal dude aesthetic that from far away, looks like a cross between a scene in the 1986 short documentary Heavy Metal Parking Lot or alternatively, a Pearl Jam video. Lorenzo states his interest in the 90’s grunge scene, his Christian faith, and a steady dose of hip hop inspired the different pieces in the collection.
One point of contention though, is the use of imagery from the era—like putting a near replica of Metallica’s 1984 “Ride the Lightning” tour shirt on one of his boxy silhouettes. Or while saying something like, “I’m not the biggest Judas Priest fan,” in a GQ interview while admitting to wearing old Priest merch. But that brings it back to seeing the logo used for the F.O.G. x Vans X PacSun collaboration popping up on custom sneaker work.
In the same way that Lorenzo casually charged upwards of $800 for a vintage concert tee with his logo screen-printed on it, taking the F.O.G. logo and using on a pair of custom sneakers seems appropriate. Take these NMD's that customizer @nano0ks made in the style of F.O.G. as a tribute to Kobe—that's paying homage AND taking influence at it's finest.