Fear of God founder and designer Jerry Lorenzo Manuel Jr. came back to his alma mater in honor of an event organized for Black History Month. He was featured as a speaker for Florida A&M University’s Black History Conversation last Tuesday evening.

“I am honored to be invited back to FAMU for the Black History Month Conversation. So much of who I am today is shaped by my experience at FAMU,” Lorenzo said in a press release. “Returning to The Highest of Seven Hills is a full circle moment that I look forward to sharing with fellow Rattlers, the Tallahassee community, and my family.”

Lorenzo enrolled at FAMU in 1997 and obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He started gaining experience in retail by working at Gap, Diesel and Dolce & Gabbana. After pursuing an MBA at Loyola University Chicago, the designer worked as a marketing director for a sports agency and as a promoter in Los Angeles. 

He said pursuing different opportunities was paramount in finding his path.

“You don’t really get a chance to find that gift unless you give everything to what’s in front of you,” Lorenzo said, adding that he noticed a gap in the fashion market.

“My vision was for something that was in between street and luxury that didn’t exist,” he said, according to The Tallahassee. “It wasn’t necessarily a T-shirt with the graphic but it was the shape and fabrication.”


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The designer founded Fear of God in 2013 and later launched Fear of God ESSENTIALS and Fear of God Athletics. He debuted his first fashion show at the Hollywood Bowl last year. Lorenzo’s work was also featured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was recognized with a Wall Street Journal Magazine Fashion Innovator in 2023.

“He is shaping fashion and making history. We are proud of him and the example he is setting, reminding us that you can get anywhere from FAMU,” President Larry Robinson said.

“I can imagine the students who are thinking that this person came from this institution and went on to these great achievements in his life,” he added. “I think he’s sending a powerful message to all of them. Once you find yourself, the sky’s the limit.”