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Designer Jerry Lorenzo opens his Fear of God retail experience in L.A.'s Arts District

Atmosphere, a themed immersive retail experience in L.A.'s Arts District
Customers enter Atmosphere, a themed immersive retail experience in L.A.'s Arts District for Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear of God fashion label.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

In an Arts District warehouse in downtown Los Angeles, shoppers are being transported into another world as they go through black double doors on South Hewitt Street. They are greeted by a sea of gray. Contrasting black walkways are sneakers neatly placed on top of rocks, and thick tree stumps break up the lunar landscape. A soundscape in the background evokes nature in between plays of Elevation Worship’s “Here as in Heaven.”

This is where Fear of God label founder Jerry Lorenzo has set up what he calls Atmosphere, the name of his temporary new immersive retail exhibition. The space, open through Nov. 3, is Lorenzo’s attempt at slowing down the hype around him and his fashion label and an opportunity for fans to experience the art that is Fear of God. The design of the space — the colors, the decor, the sounds — are all reflective of the sixth visual campaign, which was inspired by “The NeverEnding Story” and meant to present an experience outside of time and space.

The entrance to designer Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear of God pop-up retail space
The entrance to designer Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear of God pop-up retail space in downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

There’s a dimly lit runway through the middle of the Atmosphere space, which leads to various pieces from the fall and winter 2019 release of Fear of God’s sixth collection. In the space, a structured iridescent Army overcoat; a work jacket featuring a majestic horse printed across it and reflective of the label’s recent visual campaign ($1,695); and a vintage mailbag work jacket ($2,495) are all positioned like a museum display.

At the end of the dark walkway is an outpouring of light, leading to a bright and airy showroom. In the space, lights burst from behind the mirrors. A reflective pool of sand and succulents sits in the middle, and the luminous fitting room is a perfect pocket of peace from reality.

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Shoppers — those who are curious or longtime fans of the band — can look through the featured items, including Fear of God socks ($75), the pieces on display in the gallery area and basics from Lorenzo’s more accessible Essentials line. The coveted Nike Air Fear of God 1 sneakers are also available, and will be re-released in new colorways through the shop’s run.

For Lorenzo, Atmosphere is a step away from the label “streetwear.” His promotional posts on Instagram promise fans that they will come away with something — a tangible purchase or not.

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The aura of Atmosphere, created by the lighting, sounds, spatial design and crowd control, is a stark contrast to hypebeast events such as ComplexCon or the latest Supreme drop on Fairfax Avenue.

Whether fans take the time to slow down in Atmosphere and take it all in appears to be up to them. The retail event is another piece of the Fear of God empire that appears monstrous but is actually quite intimate.

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On his 42nd birthday — the day Atmosphere opened earlier this month — Lorenzo strolled through his new endeavor to greet friends and fans. Some visitors had camped out before the store’s opening to get their hands on the exclusive items such as the horse jacket, weekender totes and new colorways of previously released jackets and shoes. The initial wait time to enter the Atmosphere space that day was a couple of hours.

Designer Jerry Lorenzo
Designer Jerry Lorenzo, center, at his Fear of God experience in downtown L.A.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Although he was unavailable for an interview about Atmosphere, Lorenzo told The Times last year of his strategy to maintain his brand legacy through the test of time.

“You can either fight to stay on top of their radar or you can fall back and trust and believe in your abilities and your craft,” he said, “and then come back with something worthy of being celebrated outside of the hype.”

Fear of God Atmosphere pop-up
Where: 427 S. Hewitt St., Los Angeles
When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Nov. 3


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