Today we pay tribute to Jonas Gregory Bevacqua (1977-2011), who along with Robert Wright co-founded LRG in 1999. Jonas was a partner, a friend, and an inspiration to us all. Jonas’s time here went by too fast, yet he left behind so much for us to remember and honor. Today, October 23rd, 2014, he would have turned 37 years old.
We’ve assembled a tribute post for people interested in learning more about Jonas’s life, including some pictures, in-depth interviews, and a short video that Jonas wrote, starred in, and directed, in which he discusses a day in his life at LRG.
We love you, Jonas.
Legends Never Die
1947 ‘till infinity.
Excerpt from an interview with a Korean fashion magazine - 2009
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Jonas Gregory Bevacqua
It is said that you came up with the LRG logo, what was the inspiration behind that?
I came up with a slogan while riding the bus going down Haight street in san Francisco at the time. It was “underground inventive, overground effective” I wanted something to explain the underground culture and when that culture grows because it is so great and the tree with the roots represented the “underground inventive” part being the origin or the beginning and literally being underground. The rest of the tree being strong and full is what happens when something is “overground effective”
What does the number 47 stand for?
The number 47 stands for my mothers age. She was 47 when we started and really believed in me and just wanted me to do what makes me happy. My dad was sort of the opposite in a way, he would of rather me gone down more of the traditional route like go to school and “make something of yourself”. He was happy regardless. I wasn’t good at school and rebelled pretty hard so school wasn’t really an option for me.
What is the secret behind LRG’s success?
I don’t think there’s a secret, I think its just loving what you do and the drive to always improve and do better. I think its bringing different communities or cultures in music, art, sports, and design together in a credible way. We are what we make. We don’t try and cater to a customer. We are our own customer. The customer just happens to be most of the youth in the world. We're very humble and grateful for this. So thank you to all the people that believe in what were doing.
Can you share with us the hardest moments that you endured during the 10 years you have been working in building LRG?
I think the hardest thing was convincing an industry and the kids to believe an understand what were doing. At the time music and sports were sort of segregated by looks or people you hung out with or were associated with. It took a lot to convince people that it was ok to be into many different things and to look fresh as fuck while doing them. It took a lot to make people start reading your labels and messages. People weren’t as conscious about what they were wearing or could care less about what the concept or message behind the brand was. We tried to bring wit, humor, intelligence and substance at a time where everything we thought was empty and shallow.
Can you please share some of your craziest moments while working in this industry?
I’ve been trying to figure out if I’m human or if I’m dancer lately. So that has been pretty crazy. I don’t know if there’s a right answer. There must be a way to be a human dancer with all of this new technology. We have machines that paint your teeth blue, and now there’s programs on the internet where you can actually capture gypsies for Christ’s sake. Life’s a mammy scarf!
When did you realize that you had made it during the 10 years with LRG?
I don’t think we’ve made it because we are not were I think the brand can be. There is always more things to design, ideas to be shared and always room for growth. I think we’ve just begun and have a long, hard, exciting journey ahead of us. It's sort of like making love.
What are some future projects for LRG?
We just launched kids this holiday, we have a great accessories program coming out, bags, sunglasses and watches. Your gonna be able to be head to toe L-R-G boxers included by next year.
You started out as a DJ, how did you go from dj’ing to the fashion industry?
I think music and fashion both heavily rely on each other for inspiration and both are a universal language. I’ve always been into both. It wasn’t something strategic or anything. It was just as simple as always wanting to look fly and listen to stuff that made you feel good. To be able to share both with people is gods way of saying “are we human or are we dancer”
LRG is about combining the essence of hip hop, skateboarding, surfing, and the underground scene, many of these subcultures do not blend together. Why do you think that combining all these different groups was necessary?
Eating and breathing are necessary. This is something I wanted to do because it was a reflection of myself and Robert. I knew there were more kids out there that felt the same way but didn’t have a brand that expressed this so passionately.
In Korea, the street scene is still growing from being a trend into a lifestyle, how do you think this culture can become more distinguished here in Korea?
You have the most beautiful women in the world, that’s how.
It is very hard to make a living here in Korea in the street scene, what advice can you give for all the Koreans here who are trying to make it in this industry?
I think it’s very important to have a unique, specific vision and product. But also you have to really believe and love what you do. Don’t get into this industry for any other reason, because if you do you will not enjoy your life. And if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life. This I know is true because I’m living proof. I think you need to have a great mentor and partner you can trust like Robert Wright and surround yourself with people that you trust that can use your vision as a platform to see their own.
Besides LRG, what are your favorite clothing brands?
Balenciaga mens, Phillip Lim, and anything coming out of Copenhagen, Denmark. They have a lot of small independent designers that are killing it.
What are three things that you cannot live without right now?
Trust, my bike, and my family both at work and at home.
What are you listening to right now?
Literally right now im listening to the killers “human”. Imagine that!
What inspires you right now?
The same thing that has always inspired me, family. Both at work and at home.