|Founded||San Diego, United States (1989)|
|Headquarters||San Diego, United States|
|Products||Apparel and Accessories|
Tribal Gear, Tribal Streetwear or simply Tribal was launched in 1989 by Bobby Ruiz and his brother Joey as a Southern California lifestyle inspired clothing brand.
Bobby Ruiz started Tribal Street wear on November 20, 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.
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 Latinos. “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.
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 "Pursue," 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 themselves. 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.
Abel, grew up poor in a rugged section of South Central L. A. and lost a brother to street violence. 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.
Vince, is a Filipino graffiti artist based in Makati, Philippines. His hobby is wall painting when Bobby Ruiz asked him to participate in Tribal Streetwear. He joined the team and participated in many T-shirt Design Competitions. He said "I felt special that time". He was involved in different illegal graffiti art all over Makati City.
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, Gabriel McDonald, Scott Raynor, Justin Timberlake, and Beyoncé Knowles.
Munk One a.k.a. JoseMercado 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.
- Interview Bobby Ruiz
- Tribal Streetwear, American Latino TV, December 8, 2007
- American Latino TV Shines the Light on Latinos Online, Latin Heat Online, March 12, 2007
- Clothing with a culture, Los Angeles Times, August 20, 1999 by Jose Cardenas
- Circle Sensation 2006
- Tribal Gear Killafornia Breakdancing DVD
- Tribal Gear art scene by Marco A. Patino
- Conference Views Graffiti’s Creative Side, October 03, 2003 by Los Angeles Times
- "SHOCK MANSION INTERVIEWS OG ABEL", 2009, Shock Mansion
- Mister Cartoon's Growing Tattoo Empire, January 1, 2003 by Michele Norris
- Mister Cartoon Draws Brand Interest, Brandweek, February 13, 2006
- Munk One's Homepage
- Bighouse clothing: Tribal Streetwear