Lifted Research Group formed in 1999, the work of Jonas Bevacqua and Robert Wright. The company designs clothing for "underground" cultures such as the hip-hop scene and skateboarders. While previous designera had focused on just one scene, LRG decided from the start to cross boundaries and provide clothing for all such subcultures.
Skateboarders Bevacqua and Wright founded Lifted Research Group (LRG) in 1999 in Santa Ana, California. They met while working on Wright's hip-hop music.
Wright was already a designer and MC and had experience with Quiksilver, O'Neill and other hip-hop labels. Bevacqua had the idea and the logo. Together they created several samples, stickers and patterns, and with a small amount of capital from friends of Bevacqua's father, LRG was born.
LRG's first booth was at Action Sports Retailer Expo in San Diego. By noon the first day it had sold out of 300 pairs of pants and four styles each of hoodies and shirts.
LRG had entered a world where each subculture had its own clothing (for examples skateboarders and hip-hop were catered to separately.) Both founders were interested in clothing that reflected their own diverse interests. While initial sales were slow, with their jackets, jeans (LR Geans is the company's denim department), shirts and hats, LRG bridged the gap and became profitable by 2002.
In 2005, LRG introduced a women's line, Luxirie, targeting women ages 18 to 30. Luxirie's official Canadian and USA launch was in 2006. That year the company also partnered with T-Mobile to create a limited-edition Sidekick III smartphone. Other partnerships had LRG putting its Monster emblem on an exclusive iPhone case and creating an LRG Hayabusa motorcycle.
LRG's Skeleton Hoody or Skull Hoody debuted in 2007, and was in such high demand that some stores sold them for upward of $225. In 2007, LRG did more than $150 million in sales.
When hip-hop stars like Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco started to wear LRG, the brand was firmly established. LRG supported independent artists by releasing compilation CDs, giving newcomers a chance to showcase their talent.
LRG used grass-roots networking to find its talent, and gave outsiders a chance. Albert Rosario and Kevin Delaney met the founders while they were still students and were offered a job once they graduated, even without experience. As of 2008, they'd been in LRG's marketing department for seven years.
LRG will likely continue to network and partner with celebrities in music and sport, creating limited editions and opportunities. As of 2008 LRG did not have any brick and mortar stores, though the company does sell its clothes online.
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