Over the years, very few streetwear brands have survived the shifts in the economy, and of those, very few have been able to expand their lines beyond where they started. In just under a decade, L-R-G has gone beyond the stereotypical label of streetwear, offering an entire lifestyle that their core consumers could grow with.
Through the process of developing relationships with rising celebrities, the L-R-G team has unleashed campaigns so outside the box that they have actually set a standard for creative advertising. Additionally, the people who wear L-R-G are phenomenally committed to the brand, almost as if they had a stake in the company themselves.
We spoke with L-R-G Brand Manager Kevin Delaney about the ideals behind the clothing, the ways they strategize the right relationships and their inspiration to create a global lifestyle.
AllHipHop.com: Now that L-R-G is in its ninth year of business, what do you feel are the company's biggest accomplishments thus far?
Kevin Delaney: Maintaining a strong team with the same goals.
AllHipHop.com: Since the odds are against businesses surviving long-term, what has been the biggest challenge you've overcome thus far? You've had phenomenal growth, but are there any concerns for L-R-G with the nation's current economy?
Kevin Delaney: Of course there are concerns, but now is actually a great time to move past all your competitors or whoever you are up against. While every other company is pulling back on budgets, we feel this is our time to push even further ahead and take over a lot of in-store retail space. Stay in peoples face and let people know we are a brand for the future.
AllHipHop.com: The company has had some interesting campaigns over the years. What are some of your favorites?
Kevin Delaney: First off, The Roots campaign was nuts, they were the first big time artists we featured. I was still super young and bugging out on them because they are legends. This pretty much let people know we have arrived. The lay out and artwork was crazy. If you look at the ad, ?uestlove is drumming on a drum set we doctored up and put all types of foliage on it to give it that organic fell. He started doing a mini drum solo on the plant-covered drums; it was surreal.
In addition, all of our campaigns, brand alignment with Just Blaze has been a blessing as well. His ads just work. The synergy between him and L-R-G is seamless. We have done three different campaigns with him, and they have all been very different but all equally effective. He has been our #1 brand ambassador over the years, and would like to shout him out now!
The last campaign would have to be when we ran Clinton Portis. He was the first big time athlete we ran with. He took a chance with us potentially jeopardizing his Nike contract, so he showed us crazy love on that one. He had to wear a Nike hat in the ad to make it legit. Big shout to CP as well!
AllHipHop.com: You've had several celebrities involved in campaigns, from more well known artists like Kanye West, Jim Jones, Bun B and The Roots to underground MC's like Living Legends and Planet Asia, and brand new artists like B.o.B. You've also involved DJ's, actors and skaters. How do you determine which celebrities will represent your brand?
Kevin Delaney: The selection process is a collaborative effort within our department and company. We are all constantly looking for new artists, skaters, DJs, basket weavers, producers, etc we like to run classic, legendary artists as well as shining the light on the underground or that new up-and-comer.
And for the record, we ran Kanye West in spring of 2003, which means we shot the pictures in 2002, way before he was a well known artist. But basically, as long as you are doing something fresh and new while changing and/or influencing the game you are in, then you are definitely a candidate for L-R-G.
AllHipHop.com: L-R-G is one of the few companies that has been truly successful in cross-branding your line. Your T-Mobile Sidekick did very well. You also currently have the G-Shock "Time Is Money" watch, the Dainese motorcycle jacket, Monster iPhone holder, camo Fit Bike, K.O.A.B. ATV, Suzuki Hayabusa sportsbike, Forum snowboard and Special Blend coats. How do you decide which companies to partner with?
Kevin Delaney: The company has to be a leader in their respective field, such as G-Shock and T-Mobile. Or the collaboration must enhance the L-R-G brand in some way or form or shed light on us in an industry where people might not think of us or notice us.
AllHipHop.com: Who are the members of your L-R-G Skateboard team? How do you work with the team to promote the brand through events/appearances?
Kevin Delaney: Tyrone Romero is the Team Manager. We have pro skaters Karl Watson, Rob Gonzalez, Chico Brenes, Rodrigo TX, Adelmo Jr. and Jack Curtin, also amateur skaters Kelly Hart and Rodrigo Petersen. We market our skate team through international and domestic touring, in-store signings, demos, skate videos and magazine print ads.
AllHipHop.com: At times you've got some nature-inspired images on your shirts. Is that intentionally to be eco-friendly?
Kevin Delaney: The cycle of nature mimics the cycle of our company. We are continually growing yet or roots stay grounded. We bring the underground or counter-culture ideas and influences, or whatever you want to call it, and bring it the mainstream. The tree is our logo and pretty much describes this phenomenon.
AllHipHop.com: If you had to pick one L-R-G design or collection as your favorite of all time, what would it be and why?
Kevin Delaney: The Rawkus Records Soundbombing II x L-R-G Varsity jacket.
AllHipHop.com: Do you have big plans for your 10-year anniversary next year?
Kevin Delaney: Maybe a tour, maybe a compilation album, maybe a chicken wing eating contest who knows?!
To see more L-R-G lifestyle products and fashion, go to www.l-r-g.com