In 1989 Tribal Streetwear was launched by Bobby Ruiz and his brother Joey as a Southern California lifestyle inspired clothing brand. Tribal represents a lifestyle that isn’t defined by a music style or culture. Tribal makes a consistent effort to transcend boundaries, labels and stereotypes.
Bobby Ruiz started Tribal Street wear in 1989 with his brother Joey. When Bobby was looking for sponsors for a graffiti art/benefit show in San Diego, Carl Arellano, who had a silk screening business offered to sponsor the show. "It was at that point when we became friends and started to talk about him getting involved with Tribal", says Bobby.
Bobby had a concept with artwork. Both Joey and Bobby started with blank white T-shirts that they had bought from people on the streets and factories. Joey was designing tattoo graphics and Bobby started designing graphics too which they used to apply on the T-shirts. Inspired by his graffiti background Bobby wanted to use strong graphics that speak for themselves.
Most graphics were Aztec and Mayan influenced. This is how they came up with the name Tribal. They started working with graffiti artists who made Hip Hop inspired graphics. Tribal’s start was rough but Bobby and Carl pulled through it and succeeded in making Tribal successful. Tribal expanded from T-shirts to apparel and accessories. Now almost 20 years after its start, Tribal Street wear is still representing the streets internationally.
Tribal Street wear is a lifestyle clothing brand that has made an impact from West to East U.S.A. and even overseas. Tribal became popular in countries like Germany and Japan where the interest in Latino culture has paved the way for California designers to sell street wear.
Bobby wanted his clothing to appeal to everyone, not just Hip Hop heads and Latino’s. “We never boxed ourselves in by using one thing that we are into”, explains Bobby “We have a skate team, b-boy team, graffiti artist, and ultimate fighters”. Tribal finds inspiration in graffiti, Hip Hop music and the street culture which are characteristic of the South-Californian Latino lifestyle.
Tribal is a supporter of Breakdancing all over the world. The tough style of Tribal matches the Breakdancing aesthetics.
Over the years Tribal has sponsored Breakdancing events and dancers such as Lil Rock, Moskito, Ruen, Crumbs, Lil Bob, Rainen, Franky Flav, Nabil, and Anthrax.
Ever since the inception, Tribal Streetwear has been surrounded by renowned artists. Whether a piece from Los Angeles, California artists "OG Abel" or "Mr. Cartoon" (both legends in the arte and lowrider scene) or "Daim" or "Seak" (who are from Germany) or San Diego, California, hometown homeboys "Hasl," "Brisk" or "Persue," the Tribal warehouse where the artwork now provides a good example of the power of urban, hip-hop street art.
When Bobby started Tribal he had a concept with artwork. His background as a graffiti artist inspired him to use strong graphics that speak for them selves. Tribal provides a canvas where artists can express their creativity. Over the years the lifestyle brand has provided work for as many as 200 graffiti artists.
For Abel, life wasn't always as kosher as it is now. As a child, he grew up in a rugged section of Los Angeles, California, and at a very young age he would witness not only the rough and tumble streets, but also find himself void of a beloved brother who fell victim to that same violence. But this is when Abel's tragedy literally turned into triumph, as he felt empowered by his love for his brother to carry on his dream to be an artist. "I feel as if he lives through me," says Abel. "I feel like he's always right here besides me when I create and if anything he was a much better artist than I was."
This passion to realize his brother's dream has taken Abel on a 360-degree turnaround. From being a troublemaker to getting into school, this artist has turned his life around for the better. He attended Los Angeles Trade Tech to take courses in graphic design and he's turned his hobby into a business, which has him working alongside some of the world's most power brands. From Fiat, Lowrider Magazine to Tribal and Converse. Abel is taking the world by storm and literally scaring the competition.
Mark Machado, better known as Mister Cartoon, is a Mexican American tattoo artist and graffiti artist based in Los Angeles, California. Machado designed the logo for Cypress Hill. He has tattooed the bodies of Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Eminem, Method Man, Travis Barker, Scott Raynor, Justin Timberlake, and Beyoncé Knowles.
In addition to tattoos, Machado's work has been used by Nike, Tribal, Toyota, T-Mobile and in Grand Theft Auto.
Munk One a.k.a. Jose A. Mercado is a contemporary American Illustrator and Fine artist. He is most noted for creating Artwork for bands including Korn, Avenged Sevenfold, My Chemical Romance, and many more who’s merchandise can be seen throughout the world. Munk’s fine art paintings in gallery shows have gained much attention with no signs of slowing.
Tribal has a heavy assortment of support from artists. By building relationships Bobby was able to expose his line to consumers via celebrities.TV Famous artists like Rock Steady Crew, Korn, Delinquent Habits and Linkin Park have worked with Tribal.
Other famous supporters of the brand include Snoop Dogg, KRS1, Gotti, P.O.D., Limp Bizkit, Los Lobos, Crazy Legs, Tony Touch and Q-Unique.
The Tribal collection is sold in selected stores in Europe, Asia and America.
STREETWEAR GETS BOOST AT ALPHA SHOW; NEW LINES AND THE EFFECT OF THE GULF COAST CATASTROPHE SPUR NEW CONFIDENCE AMONG STORES.
Sep 26, 2005; Byline: Brenda Lloyd ATLANTA -- Urban streetwear retailers at the AmericasMart's Alpha show last week couldn't complain about a...