When Jerry Lorenzo was young, he and his family read daily devotionals together. His mother owned 30 to 40, but they frequently studied My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, one of the most popular religious hardcovers ever written.

“Reading about the fear of God and the clouds and darkness around His kingdom if you didn’t know Him, but [having] that same fear out of respect and reverence for Him if you did know Him…” Lorenzo explains in his warm, dulcet voice. “That juxtaposition was so awesome to me.”

Years later, My Utmost for His Highest inspired the name of Lorenzo’s clothing brand, Fear of God, which he launched in 2013. “I always wanted to do something around Christianity, but it seemed corny,” the 39-year-old says, sitting in his showroom in a renovated warehouse in downtown L.A on a March afternoon. “But when I read [My Utmost For His Highest], I knew I had the foundation and the base to keep me going. It was enough for me to build on. I knew I had a name for the company.”

A devotional book may be an unusual source for fashion creativity, but not for Lorenzo. Everything about Fear of God—the sleeveless flannel with side zips, BMX jersey (inspired by a similar one he found at the Rose Bowl Flea Market), bomber jackets, and military sneakers influenced by religion, hip-hop, grunge, and Allen Iverson—is rooted in who he is and his wildly diverse interests. He listens to Kurt Cobain and the Migos. He inherited a love for vintage from his mother, who often went antique shopping. In his showroom, there’s a smaller room that has brick walls lined with dozens of framed, original rock concert posters he bought from Italian photographer Henry Ruggeri. Even right now, Lorenzo, who has tattoos that snake down both arms, a boxed beard, and cornrows braided evenly across his head, is wearing a vintage Tina Turner T-shirt with random holes that look moth-eaten, white basketball shorts and basketball sneakers from Fear of God’s upcoming fifth collection, gold chains, and a diamond-encrusted cross drop earring that hangs from his left earlobe.

“What you see in Fear of God is an organic carryover of how Jerry dresses on a daily basis,” says Chris Gibbs, owner of menswear boutique Union Los Angeles, where Fear of God is sold. “Jerry has a very specific point of view. There’s nothing out there like it. That’s why the brand does extremely well for us.” (Fear of God is one of the top five brands in Union, according to Gibbs.)

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