The Lo-lifes were a boosting click that originated in Brooklyn, NY in the year of 1988 when two groups of shoplifters from the Brownsville and Crown heights sections joined forces to cause havoc and mayhem on New York City high end department stores and 5th avenue boutiques. The Lo-Lifes had a penchant for high end designer wears especially Polo by Ralph Lauren which was their uniform of choice and addiction. During a weak economy and a decade ruled by Reaganomics shoplifting became a way of providing food, clothing and shelter for these inner city youths when jobs were scarce to many of these young urbanites. During a time when the crack cocaine business became more pervasive for many to relieve the hunger pains, "Boosting" a street slang for shoplifting became another alternative for many who could not, or didn't want to be part of the dangerous trade that took many lives before them. 

The Lo-Lifes shared a bond that unprecedented in any other street gang culture that proceeded their likes. Instead of taking out their frustration on other teens just like their selves in the urban community they chose to take it out on the midtown streets of Manhattan. They were the modern day Robin Hoods who stole from the rich and gave to the poor (or at least sold it for half the ticketed retail price) They did not know at the time out of their need to survive that they were helping shape hip-hop culture and streetwear fashion. They were the trendsetters, trend forecasters, brand awareness specialist, salesmen and stylist to the streets and culture. They had no idea that in their dire need to survive that they were making history as well as a sub culture that is still prevalent today after two decades of their original existence. 

The Lo-Lifes turned shoplifting into an underground sport that spawned other boosting clicks to follow during the time. They dictated fashion and swagger for many of youth alike that is still being copied today. They were decades before their time and did not now it. Their eye for taking garments that was not initially intended to appeal to the urban market and made it cool, while putting their own spin to it. They magnified the words "Rocking" , "Sporting" getting "Fly" and "Fresh to Death". The urban pioneers of High-end fashion.  

12/21/2013 2:21am



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