Rose in Good Faith founder David Teitelbaum sees the late Lil Peep as someone who spoke for a generation.
The young rapper, who died toward the end of 2017, often wore RIGF, a streetwear brand based and produced in Los Angeles, Teitelbaum said. Even appearing in concert a week before his death in a shibori-dyed shirt from the brand, a show during which a speaker blew out and fans instead sang along with Lil Peep.
“It was beautiful to see,” Teitelbaum said, referencing a video of the performance he was sent because of the RIGF shirt. “Everyone was hanging on his words and something about him was different. He was feeling this pain and people were relating.” Peep’s fan base is still going. Known for popularizing “emo rap,” face tattoos and daring fashion — a world he was starting to be brought into before he died — Peep has dozens of active fan pages and 5 million followers on Instagram.
Still it took about two years after Peep’s death for Teitelbaum to think about the rapper, whose given name was Gustav Ahr, for a collaboration of some kind. He decided to reach out to Ahr’s family, his mother Liza Womack and his brother Oskar Ahr, about doing something. It’s launching this week and it came about quickly, but from the get go, it was to be for a charitable cause.
First, Womack wanted to do something to support the environmental fallout from the recent Australian wildfires, which burned an estimated 25.5 million acres, or roughly the size of South Korea. Eventually, she decided that all proceeds from the RIGF collection, which includes organic cotton Ts, hoodies and crews in a limited run of 300 pieces each, would go to Greenpeace. Womack told Teitelbaum that the laptop Ahr recorded his music on had a large sticker for the environmental advocacy and peace-promoting nonprofit.
“It was a no-brainer,” Titelbaum said. “He loved animals and the world.”
Ahr’s brother, Oskar, noted “before we had any concept of a design, [my mom and I] were discussing who the project would benefit.”
“This has been a blessing to be a part of, I feel like I’m involved in something very important,” Ahr added. “Fashion can do some good for the environment. My brother would be proud of this.”
Although Ahr said he and his mom, who owns Peep’s estate, don’t get approached often about projects involving Lil Peep since he died, he admitted there are “a couple of projects” coming up, not all of which are collaborations. Ahr declined to comment on the status of the posthumous Lil Peep fashion line, dubbed No Smok!ng and announced in 2018. But the project appears to be in some kind of limbo as it was set to well over a year ago and never did.
Nevertheless, Ahr and his mother see incorporating Lil Peep into various projects like the RIGF capsule for charity as “an opportunity to continue the positive impact that Gus had since he first started making music.”
“I see his legacy as that of a free spirit who influenced the worlds of music and fashion profoundly,” Ahr said. “His influence extends into the souls of people all over the world, people from such an impressive variety of backgrounds….He gives people confidence in themselves, the same confidence that I gained from knowing him.”