Greg Lauren: America Repurposed
Born in New York and in the wake of his Uncle’s dominance over fashion at the time, Greg Lauren was given a unique perspective on life while growing up. In time, his father Jerry Lauren would become the head of menswear for Ralph Lauren, resulting in the early exposure of style to Greg at a young age. In an article by GQ Greg states, “The heroes my father and Ralph brought to the world through imagery was something that was spoon-fed to me from a very young age. Seeing the world shaped by style, details, quality, and aesthetics was how I learned about things.” With a childhood like that, it’s no surprise that Greg wanted to take up a career in the arts. He attended Princeton University and graduated in 1991 with a BA in Art History. He became a successful painter who was critically acclaimed and appreciated by many including the likes of Ben Stiller. His work includes cover art for DC Comics,Vertigo and Hellblazer. Greg also dabbled in acting, playing small roles in movies like The Wedding Planner and Batman Forever while obtaining repetitive roles in different television series.
At first it seemed as if Greg was going in a different direction with his creative abilities but after his third solo art exhibition named “alterations” which featured re-created vintage pieces and gear from his own closet, including tuxedo jackets, ghostly hoodies, leather jackets and dress shoes made out of paint, a sewing machine, and Japanese craft paper it became clear that Greg was looking to get into the family business. In the same interview with GQ Greg talks about the purpose of this particular exhibition, “I set out to explore my relationship to clothing. I wanted to know what certain heroes meant to me. I also wanted to address how people saw me. Because if they couldn't get past the last name, I wanted to understand what my relationship to clothing was. I was trying to explore this idea that image is potent, but also paper thin”. Before taking a leap into fashion Greg found it necessary to distinguish his standing with clothes. To be considered a successful designer he would have to make people see beyond his name and acknowledge him as his own person instead of just the nephew of a great. Greg moved to LA and sought to learn the ins and outs of designing clothes. His approach to design was much like an artist, dedicating a lot of time and labor into the small details of each piece. In 2011 he released his own ready to wear brand self named Greg Lauren.
After his first fashion show in 2014 where style.com labeled his designs as "Mad Max meets Savile Row”, Greg finally received the recognition he wanted. The following year Greg would be given the gracious opportunity to design a custom suit for Yeezy himself which he would wear at the Grammy’s later that year. Today, Greg is attempting to change the ideas around fashion and challenge fans to really think about the clothes they wear. The reworked militaristic and vintage yet innovative direction he has for the brand is incredibly authentic and unique.
Greg Lauren X Moncler
This year Greg released a capsule collection at Barneys featuring iconic Italian luxury lifestyle brand Moncler. In an interview by the window about the collection Greg tells us how his background as an artist plays a significant role in how he designs, “When I approach designing, it always starts with the artistic questions that come directly from my time painting and my work as a visual artist. Whether it’s brushstrokes or fabric combinations, it always starts with: who are we? Who am I? Who are our heroes? I’m always looking around and asking questions like, why do we wear what we wear? It’s never about the latest trends, it’s about exploring why people are making the choices that they’re making." So it appears that above all else Greg Lauren wants to be appreciated as an artist who uses fashion and clothes as an artistic medium to inspire people. Challenging the stereotypes around fashion Greg seeks to show fashion fans that their clothes are apart of their voice and should represent the individual more than just the brand. Breaking barriers as a designer and artist, Greg Lauren is finally being recognized as a creative individual separate from his father and uncle. Greg's own line is a fine addition to the Lauren legacy and while his last name carries the reputation of the fashion beast I'm sure he would gladly state that his brand, AIN’T RALPH THO!