Campus Life | February 21st, 2024

Faith, Fashion, and Finding Purpose: Jerry Lorenzo’s FAMU Homecoming

By: Brandi Roman | Editorial
Faith, Fashion, and Finding Purpose: Jerry Lorenzo’s FAMU Homecoming

Florida A&M University’s Black History Month celebration was marked by a profound conversation between alum and Fear of God founder Jerry Lorenzo and Dr. Shawnta Friday-Stroud, Dean of FAMU’s School of Business and Industry and Lorenzo’s former professor. 

Their dialogue delved into Lorenzo’s personal journey, the interplay of faith and fashion, and the ethos behind his brand’s success.

Lorenzo recounted the genesis of the name, “Fear of God,” inspired during a devotion with his parents, reflecting on the symbolic clouds of darkness surrounding God’s Kingdom. This name embodies the dual nature of fear as both an awe of the divine and a source of comfort and peace in the believer’s journey period; from the inception of his brand, Lorenzo was adamant that his Christian faith be the cornerstone, guiding him to pursue a purpose that transcends mere fashion. 



Image of Dr. Shawnta Friday-Stroud and Jerry Lorenzo at the Lee Hall Auditorium || Photo Courtesy: Sydney Rencher

From the outset, an unwavering Christian faith has been central to Lorenzo’s brand. 

“I also thought fashion was kind of corny, and so I needed something that would keep me going,” Lorenzo said, emphasizing the need for a deeper purpose. “I needed there to be something deeper than just solving the solution for your closet.”

Lorenzo’s reflections on his path to self-discovery are rooted in humility and gratitude for his journey. He credits his past experiences with shaping his present. 

His time at FAMU was a period of exploration and uncertainty, particularly influenced by his father, Jerry Manuel’s professional accomplishments.

 “That year, my dad had just won the World Series with the Marlins — and I’m just a student at FAMU thinking, ‘man, I can never do that, like what am I going to do with my life?’” Lorenzo said.

The decision to leave the university’s baseball team and work at a local Gap store during his senior year was a turning point. 

“I look back, and I remember being really at peace with that decision because I had given all that I could to the game,” Lorenzo recalled. 

This transition was instrumental in uncovering his true passion and potential beyond the baseball diamond.

When asked about his competitors, Lorenzo’s response reflected his spiritual journey. 

“I think I’ve just realized I don’t really have any competitors; my competition now is with my walk with God,” He said. “My competition now is making sure that my character is at a place that can protect the gifts that He’s given me—I know he hasn’t given this vision to anybody else, and I say that with all humility.”

This perspective emphasizes his focus on personal growth and accountability to his unique vision.


Image of Fear of God founder Jerry Lorenzo || Photo Courtesy: Sydney Rencher

Lorenzo also discussed the impact of social media on his work, revealing a strategic approach to maintaining his mental and creative health. 

“I mean, I’m 46. I just turned my comments off [at] the beginning of this year,” Lorenzo shared, stressing the importance of being driven by conviction rather than public opinion.

His advice to the audience underscored the continuous process of self-evolution and the importance of character. “It’s a constant evolution of yourself,” Lorenzo advised, highlighting the necessity of maturation to face life’s challenges and successes.

Concluding his conversation, Lorenzo emphasized the significance of diligence in small endeavors as a foundation for character building and finding peace in a tumultuous world. 

“It’s so important now that you give your all to the small things in such an integral way and that you’re building your character in a way that when you get these opportunities,” Lorenzo said. “Your character can protect you within these opportunities and roles because it’s all so fragile, and those are the things that really allow you to find peace in a world that can be pretty tough.”

His journey from FAMU to leading a groundbreaking fashion brand, underpinned by his faith and commitment to his vision, serves as an inspirational narrative for all aspiring individuals.