Jonas Bevacqua was a co-founder and creative director of Lifted Research Group (LRG), a hip hop clothing brand that became one of the fastest-growing and most influential in the industry. He was found dead in his Laguna Beach home on May 31, 2011, at the age of 34. His death was ruled as natural causes, but it also raised questions about the pressures and challenges of the fashion world.
Who was Jonas Bevacqua?
Jonas Bevacqua was born on October 23, 1977, in Orange County, California. He was adopted by a white family, along with six other children of different races and ethnicities. He grew up with a love for hip hop culture, especially music and fashion. He was inspired by artists like A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan, and Nas, and by brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, and Nautica. He also developed a fascination with the number 47, which represented the 47th precinct of the New York Police Department, where his grandfather worked as a detective.
Bevacqua dropped out of college and moved back home with his parents, where he met Robert Wright, a former snowboarder and designer. They shared a vision of creating a clothing line that reflected their interests and lifestyles, and that appealed to the urban youth market. In 1999, they launched LRG, which stood for Lifted Research Group, with the slogan “underground inventive, overground effective”. They used the number 47 and the image of a tree as their logo, symbolizing growth and creativity. They also incorporated elements of skateboarding, surfing, and graffiti into their designs.
LRG quickly gained popularity and recognition, especially among hip hop artists and celebrities, who wore and endorsed their products. LRG also sponsored and promoted indie musicians and skaters, and created a loyal fan base. By 2007, LRG was ranked as the fifth fastest-growing company in the US by Entrepreneur magazine, with annual sales of $150 million. Bevacqua was hailed as a visionary and a trendsetter, who revolutionized the hip hop fashion industry.
How did Jonas Bevacqua die?
Jonas Bevacqua was found dead in his Laguna Beach home on May 31, 2011, by his father, who went to check on him after he did not answer his phone calls. He was lying in his bed, with no signs of foul play or trauma. He was 34 years old. The Orange County Coroner’s Office later determined that Bevacqua died of natural causes, due to pneumonia and myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle. He also had traces of Xanax and alcohol in his system, but they were not considered as contributing factors to his death.
Bevacqua’s death shocked and saddened his family, friends, and fans, who mourned the loss of a talented and charismatic person. He was remembered as a loving son, brother, uncle, and friend, who had a great sense of humor and a generous spirit. He was also honored as a pioneer and a leader, who had a positive impact on the fashion and hip hop culture. He was buried at Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona del Mar, California. His funeral was attended by hundreds of people, including celebrities like Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, and John Legend. His last tweet, posted on May 29, 2011, read: “Life is beautiful”.
What is Jonas Bevacqua’s legacy?
Jonas Bevacqua’s legacy is one of innovation, inspiration, and success. He was a co-founder and creative director of LRG, one of the most successful and influential hip hop clothing brands in history. He was a trailblazer and a tastemaker, who created a unique and original style that blended hip hop, skate, and street culture. He was a mentor and a supporter, who helped and encouraged many emerging artists and skaters. He was a role model and a hero, who inspired and empowered many young people to pursue their dreams and passions.
Bevacqua’s legacy lives on in his family, who continue to run and expand LRG, and who keep his memory and spirit alive. His legacy also lives on in his fans, who wear and cherish his products, and who follow his example and vision. His legacy also lives on in the media, where he is featured and celebrated in various documentaries, books, and articles, such as The Kids, a documentary by Eddie Martin, which showcases his journey and his impact.
Jonas Bevacqua was a 34-year-old man who died unexpectedly, but who left a lasting legacy as a hip hop fashion icon. He will be forever missed and forever remembered by his family, his friends, his fans, and his industry.