Before there were Bloods and Crips, there were the Lo-Lifes. They worshiped Ralph Lauren, and shoplifted as much Polo gear as they could. Their distinctive looks would later influence and define urban street fashion throughout the 90’s.


When we traveled, we would roll at least 50 or 60 deep and could be recognized by the rainbow of Ralph Lauren labels. By 1989, we grew and had members in the “90’z” (East Flatbush) and East New york. We would get all dressed up just to go out and commit crimes. Sometimes we would go to clubs wearing like 5 different polo shirts each. We would wear one on top of another and switch shirts. All night while walking around the nightclub, your prop status was rated on how much “Lo” you had and how big your heart was.

And from an article in Vibe, March 2005:

Many of these guys are now collectors, and if you ever see odd vintage Ralph Lauren items on ebay getting ridiculously high bids, it’s probably one of them.

Further Reading:
A History of the Lo-Lifes
Lo-Lifes Documentary Trailer