If you asked me what an apparel collection representing the ceaseless year we're living in looks like, the first word that'd come to mind is "awful." 2020 has been terrible, horrible, no good, and very bad. But despite that, Tombogo has found something endearing amongst the minefield of bad news with its recently released "Freelance" collection.
Tombogo is an L.A.-based label from Tommy Bogo, who got his start printing his own T-shirts and selling them out of his locker. That DIY spirit remains now that he leads a full-fledged brand, whose recent releases have also included hand-painted gradient baseball caps and another hat with cargo pockets that can be replaced by a storm hood. (J Balvin is a bag fan of the latter.)
With a sense of adaptation already baked into Tombogo, that idea is central to its new collection of cargo pants, a zip-up shirt, streetwear basics, and accessories. Whatever you do for work, there's a good chance the pandemic has forced you into a freelance mentality. Creativity, flexibility, and resolve above all have been necessary to encroach on anything near productivity in this groan-worthy "new normal." With clothes that take on the same qualities, Tombogo celebrates the strength we've had to have to endure.
The most adaptive work pants you've ever seen — Tombogo's most innovative creation of the lot is a double-knee canvas work pant ($250) with convertible cargo pockets. The leg-length panels are detachable and reversible, giving the person wearing them three different styles to choose from. Inspired by Carhartt's iconic carpentry pants, they're durable as hell with enough pockets to store any tool you could possibly need.
A half-zip shirt ($180) is also convertible, with zip-off sleeves to help it serve double duty as a jacket. Two-tone corduroy makes it all the more dynamic, and each shirt is cut and sew. And if you're looking for something new to stash in or on the shirt and pants, Tombogo also has a micro-ruler keychain and multi-purpose carabiner (both $15) amongst the accessories.
If comfort and leisure have been more of a priority during lockdown, a hand-dyed kimono ($90) made of jersey cotton may be the perfect new piece to loaf about in. It too is cut and sew and provides plenty of room to live in.
A more overt ode to freelancing — The range of basics takes "freelance" more literally, slapping it in arched, block-letter text onto T-shirts ($50), hoodies ($90), and crewneck sweatshirts ($80). As someone who's spent a third of my career without a full-time job, I feel very much seen. They don't give out medals for scraping together enough work to (barely) live off of and then chasing down the checks, but these tops can say the same thing. (Once again, in this warped head of mine, that would be "You fuckers can't kill me.")
Tombogo's Freelance collection is available now through its website, although some colors of select products have already sold out. Take that too as a sign that you're not alone in feeling the pressure this year hath wrought.