During the late-’80s, two groups of teenagers from neighboring areas of Brooklyn came together to form a boosting (shoplifting) crew with a common goal— accumulate as much Polo Ralph Lauren as possible, by any means possible. Known as the Lo Lifes, they dressed themselves in the finest garments stolen from every upper-class department store in the tri-state area, while living a reality that was the complete opposite of what Ralph Lauren represented. To the authorities the Lo Lifes were criminals, but to themselves and people on the streets, their actions signified something else. They aspired to be something greater, and empowered themselves by taking something that wasn’t meant for them and making it their own.
For the past five years Lo Life founder Thirstin Howl the 3rd and photographer/filmmaker Tom Gould have been documenting this culture. Interviews, archival pictures, and recent portraits of key players make up the first-ever book recounting how a group of kids in Brooklyn went on to influence mainstream rap stars and birth a sub-culture of boosters and collectors of vintage Ralph Lauren worldwide.
A film by Tom Gould & Thirstin Howl the 3rd burymewiththeloon.com