According to a recent story from Fashionista, a group of luxury-streetwear-clad pastors are luring areligious millennials back to the (mega)church.
Dubbed as “hypepriests” by GQ’s Sam Schube in an article published last month, these pastors – which include Carl Lentz, Chad Veach, Rich Wilkerson Jr., and Judah Smith – are as comfortable in Supreme, Common Projects, and $1,000 Fear of God jeans, as they are talking about the virtues of christianity and, according to the story, they don’t find this to be at all contradictory.
“Ultimately, what is our brand?” asks Veach. “Our brand is the gospel. Our brand is Jesus. We’re trying to sell the good news of who Jesus is.” And, it turns out, quite a few people are buying.
While it’s been well documented that “millennials [are] leaving the American church ‘in droves,'” these pastors, “continue to draw thousands of young, culturally aware people to their Sunday worship services.” And they’ve also earned themselves an impressive list of celebrity devotees, including Justin Bieber, Hailey Baldwin, Selena Gomez, Cool Teen Luka Sabbat, a Kardashian, and Jerry Lorenzo, among others.
Explaining the pastors’ popularity with celebrities, the article posits that even though each “pastor has his share of detractors who see his affinity for expensive clothing and high-profile friendships as contrary to the way of Jesus of Nazareth, who often gravitated toward the poor and oppressed… for those who experience fashion (or even fame) as inextricable from their careers and social circles but still want to be involved in a church, the leadership of these pastors may seem like proof that they don’t need to leave the faith.”
The story goes on to note that, “not all church attendees can afford to cop designer pieces like the ones they see worn behind the pulpit. But that doesn’t stop their followers from emulating their pastors’ looks.” Which may explain why many of the pastors have begun to sell their own merch – one even uses the same pop-up marketing crew that Kylie Jenner uses for her Lip Kit launches.
[insert incredulous emoji here]
You can read more about it at Fashionista.