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The notorious LO-Life crew was founded over 25 years ago in one of the harshest projects of Brooklyn, New York. Originally made up of two separate crews who both shared common interests in fashion and lifestyle, they joined forces in 1988 coming together under the moniker of ‘LO-Life’. With most gangs there is a certain colour or dress code to help identify yourself, and for the LO-Life crew it was all about the latest threads, in particular the latest from Polo Ralph Lauren. The brand would go on to shape the crews renowned aesthetic until modern day. The crew were inspired by the story of POLO’s founder and head designer, a man born Ralph Lifshitz to Jewish immigrant parents in the Bronx, who would change his last name to Lauren and go on to start one of the most iconic fashion brands of all time – a story of rags to riches which resonated with many in the crew.
Although the gang started off as shop lifters, LO-Life’s influence in shaping the streetwear market during this period shouldn’t be overlooked. POLO Ralph Lauren was a sign of affluence for many who lived in poorer conditions. The line was designed for those with wealth but LO-Life’s dealings made it accessible to people who perhaps other wise would not be able to purchase the brand. The crew have been credited with playing an important role in the brands crossover in to street wear, in particular within the rap and hip hop community in which it continues to circulate to this day.
As years went by LO-Lifes influence continued to grow, aided by the introduction of the internet and through the burgeoning rap career of the crew’c co-founder Thirstin Howl the 3rd. Rather than continuing to push their controversial lifestyle, Thirstin and the crew looked at ways to switch up their approach and reinforce the positive aspects of the crew, not glorifying the stuff they did in the past. In 2015, 27 years after LO-Life first emerged, they were represented in at least four continents, with members in Japan, London, Australia and many more , with a huge presence globally. They continue to hold meet ups and various events to celebrate the crews influence and the role of POLO Ralph Lauren on street culture.
Recent times have seen the lines between streetwear and high fashion blur more than ever, becoming an integral part of the current market. The LO-Life crew are looking to capitalise on this shift, adapting and developing their movement by using their knowledge and influences to design a considered clothing line that represents everything LO-Life. Heavily POLO-inspired, you can find some familiar old school Ralphy designs, reworked with a LO-Life twist. Their initial release features quality graphic print tees and long sleeves, alongside more considered outerwear and a concise headwear selection. The brands co-founder Thirstin Howl the 3rd has announced his intentions to aim high with the collection, using their history in self-promoting POLO on the streets to shine a similar spotlight on the crews latest venture.
We are excited to add LO-Life to our ever growing range here at Urban Industry. We will always look to work with people and brands that embody the spirit of streetwear, and in this case those who laid the foundations for todays current movement. You can shop our full range from LO-Life HERE