Sustainability, for designer Tommy Bogo, is about giving a lens to see the globe differently. One particular strategy he has been checking out by his perform is healing. When his TOMBOGO selection Mother nature Is Healing debuted at New York Style Week very last 12 months, products emerged by means of the skeleton of a greenhouse in earth tone parachute pants, vegan leather-based tote baggage and wooden-grain knitwear sets. Flanked by houseplants, they picked up guides and walked out, symbolizing the close of our pandemic isolation period of time and a return to the outside world.
Considering that 2019, TOMBOGO has utilised sustainable materials to transform multifunctional parts into collections that are young, earthy and intended to the defeat of world activities. Character Is Healing was a vital spin on what are now classic pandemic memes: scenes of Lime scooters dumped into lakes, dinosaurs in Periods Sq., polar bears on lawns in Ohio. Bogo’s collection invoked the surrealness of hurrying again to normalcy though paying homage to the necessity of nature.
An artist has many canvases. Further than his collections made with considerate components, Bogo operates throughout media, objects, concepts. He normally drops his possess can take on merchandise like LED sun shades, digital cameras, even electronic repair goggles. Design and style is the space the place Bogo pursues his creative inclinations and obsessions. “Design begins for me with taking something that I like or am encouraged by and attempting to make it into a thing new and useful, like introducing functional options, and then discovering materials and how we can include sustainable supplies into that,” he suggests.
The who-wore-TOMBOGO-ideal reel operates deep: Khalid, Poor Bunny, Child Cudi and Kehlani are just a couple of who have been caught in the threads. Bogo has developed pop-ups that doubled as occasions for rapper Larry June. Oakland new music producer Drew Banga collaborated on a tailor made keep track of for 1 of his exhibits. “Euphoria’s” Angus Cloud is a rotating model. TOMBOGO lookbooks have highlighted rapper Guapdad 4000.
New off a shoe release celebration in Paris and a Saucony collab that offered out in minutes, Bogo is in the middle of making ready for New York Style Week. When we met at his DTLA studio, he was mostly limited-lipped about the start, but he did say this forthcoming assortment is encouraged by his formative years in Oakland.
Bogo just cannot absolutely credit score the Bay for what has grow to be of TOMBOGO. Soon after a stint in New York he’s been in L.A. for two years and has located inspiration in Paris, Japan and Italy. At 28, Bogo would like his approaching selection to explain to a tale about his evolution from significant college kid marketing shirts out of the trunk of a motor vehicle to world-wide designer.
“I feel that initial Bay brain-set at minimum bought me to the place I am at the moment,” he says. “But now I have entered this other arena, and the up coming chapter starts.”
Bogo’s dad and mom worked in high-quality art, but they inspired him not to follow the exact career route. They did the starving artist point and didn’t want that for him. But Bogo was not fascinated in numerous of his tutorial lessons at Oakland Complex High. He played the saxophone and his pals designed music. He was an avid skateboarder and adorned himself in skate brand names. He sketched all the time. A single working day he turned his sketches into screen prints, brought a crop of T-shirts to school, and built $100. This does not seem to be so considerably like the starving artist profession that my moms and dads were being conversing about, he assumed.
He was influenced by his moms and dads whilst following their guidance to opt for a stable job route. Immediately after higher university, he examined visual communications and solution style and design at San Francisco Condition University. Outside university, Bogo’s friends were being discovering their artistic paths much too, and he break up his time between design and style and collaborating with musicians. “A whole lot of these artists became significant artists this was yrs and yrs in the past, prior to any of us understood what we were executing,” he says.
The Bay’s gravitational pull is strong: its artists and musicians, the classes it taught him. Oakland was wherever he picked up a scrappy head-set that helped him get matters accomplished with regardless of what assets have been out there.
Bogo produces from a location of trouble resolving. He intended his not too long ago debuted Butterfly, in collaboration with Saucony, as a response to headline he go through about a runner finishing a 50 %-marathon in Crocs. “I believed, That is amazing, great for him,” he remembers. “But his ft almost certainly damage soon after that.” He developed the shoe to be at ease like a rubber clog and sneaker-like enough to aid a operate.
That dedication to upping performance repeats: TOMBOGO’s signature layout, convertible Double-Knee Pants, are a multifunctional everyman staple that has develop into a template for designers from Louis Vuitton to streetwear models. Bogo’s New Period collaboration snapbacks arrive with removable storage.
The avenue-to-club vibes of L.A. or New York City are captured in women’s crop tops that convert into five various styles. Chore coats with detachable sleeves and sherpa bucket hats hint at an improve to Bay Location style, exactly where the fog rolls in and would make you miss your jacket, or the place it is not uncommon to spot fleece pants at a extravagant brunch.
Even now, his pieces don’t feel extremely utilitarian. The assortment of supplies lends a fluidity to collections. There’s a scrappiness also. In the way L.A. assemblage artists challenged commercialized gallery systems, Bogo takes advantage of discovered components to problem rapidly trend. Recycling was just a section of lifetime as a child, he suggests. Deadstock material, upcycled and thrifted materials, even delivery packaging find their way into types. He creates just enough to fill demand from customers, consciously restricting excess stock.
Following, he has his eyes on doing the job with sustainably designed denim.
Bogo is a storyteller at his core. Because he began planning by assortment, his capability to produce narratives via apparel has crystalized — most potently all around the pandemic. His Drop 2020 assortment took aim at the methods we adopted a freelancer-kind mentality in the pandemic. Fleece-lined cargos anchored a Comfort Zone capsule unveiled in early 2021, built for highest coziness from outside to inside. Conceived when Bogo moved from coastline to coastline during the pandemic, parts from Shed & Observed highlighted thrifted classic materials and weighty wools and knitwears symbolizing the security and stability that emerged through his travels.
Nature Is Healing was perhaps the most cohesive representation nevertheless of the brand’s ethos all over sustainability and collaboration. His pal Leon Xu, an artist and San Francisco native, spearheaded the show’s established design. An ethereal custom made keep track of from Oakland R&B artist Elujay swirled via the air. Recycled nylon fabrics were juxtaposed with patterns encouraged by leaves and wooden.
“It’s seriously all those points I’ve just been carrying out by natural means with no placing a label on it that have come to be the core pillars of the model,” Bogo suggests.
Following those inclinations, Bogo pours his creativeness into products outside of garments. He’s designed branded spray paint, a carabiner that doubles as a compass and bottle opener, packing tape styled like a ruler dubbed “measuring tape.” It is practically nothing new for him: as a child Bogo custom-made random objects, putting a paintbrush to a disposable digital camera for instance and gifting it to his mom. The NostalgiaCam, a branded a 1080p digital camera outfitted with a custom welcome audio and display is one of his latest expressions. It’s a greater nod to the reemergence of Y2K design and style than trucker hats and small-minimize jeans, and a device for his viewers designed up of creatives and artists.
“To supply my possess edition of these resources that we all use on the working day-to-working day is definitely an fascinating idea to me,” he says.
The most pivotal piece for Bogo may well have been his LED scouter eyeglasses, which have since developed into a TOMBOGO and J Balvin collaboration of large-obligation lenses in a rainbow of colors equipped with adjustable sizing and LED on each lens. In the early days of his manufacturer, when the designer experienced only 3,000 Instagram followers, J Balvin slid into his DMs interested in copping a pair. Bogo hand-carried them to the Colombian singer’s New York condominium.
“Nothing had seriously popped off yet. It just blew my head that some thing I manufactured bought to him and he took observe of it and then went out of his way to reach out,” he says.
The fact that a little something he made could intrigue the superstar designed him consider his journey as a designer could have arrived at a turning position. It proved to be a worthwhile lesson illustrating the connections Bogo can make to the rest of the earth by working with design and style as a canvas of his introspection.
“When I structure, I just try out and style as a result of my possess lens but find things through that lens that other individuals can recognize,” he says.
Ferron Salniker is a foodstuff and society writer with a aim on identity, origins and the units. She also professional- duces food and spirit activities throughout the nation. She grew up in Oakland and is dependent in Los Angeles.
Lettering layout by Vivi Naranjo/For The Periods typeface: Goliagolia/The Designers Foundry