The Carrots collab is the latest effort by LRG to spark a comeback. Despite staying afloat (the brand is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year), it has certainly faded a bit into obscurity since its heyday in the 2000s and early 2010s. LRG was one of the hottest brands in the world, standing toe-to-toe with NIGO’s Bape, although history has been a bit kinder to the Japanese streetwear label. Rap stars like Kanye West and Drake appeared in LRG’s campaigns. It was raking in hundreds of millions in revenue a year. Bevacqua became an icon in his own right, known for flexing his massive diamond chains and expensive fleet of luxury cars as he rubbed shoulders with A-list celebrities. His tragic death in May 2011 coupled with the brand’s oversaturation in mall stores like Zumiez eventually dampened LRG’s cool factor. But can it re-enter the conversation once again in 2024 as more than just a symbol of a bygone era of streetwear?
“Unfortunately, Jonas passed away. He didn’t just leave the brand. If he was still here, I think it definitely would have a chance. Now there’s just no one to attach it to,” says Carrots. “But I think [my collab] just gives LRG room for a new future, new collaborations, new people to work with.”
We got a chance to hop on the phone with Carrots to chat about the significance of his LRG collab, what the term ‘streetwear’ means in 2024, his thoughts on the current streetwear scene in Los Angeles, and more.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
How did the LRG project come about?
Honestly, it stems back like 12 years ago from first meeting Jonas [Bevacqua]. We all got brought in by this guy named Spencer. This is when I was still working with Casey Veggies. We went there. He gave us a tour, gave us gear. We actually did a collaborative New Era for Casey and LRG at the time. They actually did an ad of all three of us—me, Josh Peas, and Casey—for that. So the relationship was already there.
Fast-forward to September 2022, they have a new team now, but the new team is technically the old team. They brought in Kev [Delaney]. Kev is like the main marketing manager. So he hit me up like, ‘Would you be down to do LRG?’ And I’m like, ‘Duh.’ [Laughs.] We’re in a space in fashion where guys and gals work with who they want to work with based on popularity. I just like doing what I like to do and whatever makes sense for my training growing up. LRG transcended from what urban fashion was into what streetwear was at the time. He had the best of both worlds. Jonas was his own icon, and the brand was a thriving business. People viewed him as a tastemaker. He was with Kanye, this person, and that person. But the brand was everywhere. It was in Macy’s. It was in Up Against the Wall. It was in these big doors. It was just awesome to watch that man become an icon personally, his own brand within himself, and also have the brand go in other directions that weren’t considered elitist.
Everybody’s business is different. You work within your means. Bape had its own thing. It only did its own stores. It only worked with its people. That’s how they kept it. I always liked how Jonas was like, ‘I don’t give a fuck. I work with who I want to work with.’
What you’re saying about LRG sort of feels like what you have with Carrots now.
To be honest, I never really looked at the blueprint that they had for myself. These days, I’m more aware of things for what they are. I would definitely say I’m a big student of the LRG blueprint now. It wasn’t as hyped up as the Bape shit, but if you paid attention in America, that was our Bape.
LRG was so huge, but it faded over time. I feel like Jonas and LRG don’t always necessarily get the recognition.
I think it does, but we covet the LRG ads more than we do the clothing. To be honest with you, I can’t really tell you my favorite LRG piece offhand. I only personally owned like one or two pieces. I wasn’t fanning out like that, but I did rock with bro as a person.
I also think that was the crossover between what we found cool with urban wear. You had Rocawear, Sean John, Enyce, Akademiks. We found that cool because we fucked with the artists. We didn’t really understand what was going on beneath that. Then, your brain switches and you start finding the Stüssys of the world, The Hundreds, all this other stuff you find cooler than LRG. These brands are being carried in these stores that aren’t as documented. It’s “if you know, you know” type of shit. The perception changed. What we found cool was no longer cool. It’s kind of weird to think about it now. Jonas would be looked at how we look at NIGO if he was still alive. People just don’t want to compare the two. It’s perception.
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