Lo-Life: An American Classic takes the reader on a tripto New York City in the early 80s-a time when crimeand violence ran the streets. The infamous Lo-Lifegang emerged from this tumultuous time. Formedby crews of teenagers from the Brownsville and CrownHeights neighborhoods of Brooklyn, they made a namefor themselves by dressing head-to-toe in expensive RalphLauren clothing, or "Lo." Polo apparel-and other preppy80s fashion labels like Guess, Nautica, and Benetton,among others-represented an aspirational lifestyle forthese kids from rough neighborhoods just struggling toget by. Fighting for style and survival, the Lo-Lifestargeted these brands, and would acquire them by anymeans necessary, including stick-ups, shoplifting, and hustling. A reign of terror ensued, when your new wintercoat could make you the target for a robbery-or worse.
What started as an informal gang uniform organizedaround clean designs and bright colors, became adevotion to a lifestyle brand, and eventually created anassociation between the streets and luxury that wouldfundamentally change the fashion industry. Lo-Life: AnAmerican Classic documents the personal collectionsof exclusive archival vintage photographs amassed bythe crew and interviews with original members,presenting the first comprehensive oral history of thisnotorious New York collective.
Lo-Life is the remarkable story of a small group of teenagersfighting to make a name for themselves who eventuallymade themselves seen, heard, and emulated globally.
Jackson Blount, a Brooklyn native, graduated from SVA in 2001. He has designed professionally since, doing both corporate and freelance work throughout his design career. Rack-Lois one of the main catalysts of the Lo-Life movement. He played a major role in the unification of boosting crews of the early 80s to form the world-renowned Lo-Life crew. Under this umbrella, the Lo-Lifes have continued to make history. This lifestyle that originated in hip hop's golden era, continues to grow and expand around the globe. As a journalist, Rack-Lo has written features for,The SourceandFrank 151. With contributions from original Lo-Life members: Uncle Disco Thirstin Howl the 3rd Bek-Live Shillz da Realz Prance-Lo B-Bob Lo Fi-Lo
Growing up in Brooklyn’s Brownsville and Crown Heights neighborhoods, Rack-Lo viewed the world at large through the lens of street life. It was on these streets where he built a legendary status that would go on to have a global impact. Credited as the “catalyst” of the Lo Life movement, he was responsible for introducing the Polo Ralph Lauren brand to Hip Hop culture.
He established a fashion institution that resonates with folks of all ethnicities and racial backgrounds, and has penned five books based around his life and Hip Hop culture as it relates to style, fashion, community, and his role as a pioneer in leading a diversified fashion conglomerate. He is also the founder of the brand RL Jewelry specializing in quality accessories. Once a founding member of one of Brooklyn’s most infamous teenage gangs, Rack-Lo is now a prolific writer, published author, curator, film director, model, event coordinator, stylist, creative director, editor, podcaster, webmaster, husband, father, and grandfather.