Gah, Xmas is just three weeks away! Not that I don’t love the holiday, but I suck at buying gifts. So, in dedication to all you gift-dumb folks out there, we’re kicking off our fobby Xmas gift guide. And, as an Absolutely Fobulous exclusive, we’ve interviewed Massachusetts-based F.O.B’s Clothing to launch the series!
At $15 – $20 each, F.O.B’s Clothing’s t-shirts are catchy yet affordable. Not just that, but the fob-loving team, affectionately dubbed the F.O.B. Squad, has created more than t-shirts for their community.
Plus, check out my webcam chat below with Founder and Creative Director Ricky Orng, 19, and Fashion and Public Relations Director Sopheak Sam, 21. Yes, it was an online nexus of fobulosity.
.What inspired you to start a clothing line?
Ricky: I was in high school at the time. Me and my friends are artists, we like to draw and we were in a class together. We joked around, like, this would be cool on a t-shirt.
Then this idea hit me, an epiphany. I had this quote in my head, “Fobs make the world go round.” I had the shirt made…it started as a small project, and it grew to what it is now.
So how fobby are you, really?
Ricky: I’m a first generation Cambodian-American. I’ve grown up with people who are immigrants. But If you were born here you assimilate really well. You don’t think about your identity. Something I do is spoken word and I’ve done a piece on the genocide in Cambodia. Growing up here, you don’t really know what happened. You can’t really embrace your culture unless you live there. But the F.O.B. project really gave us our own identity of being Cambodian-American.
Sopheak: I was born in Thailand. I was a refugee from Cambodia, born on the border, and came to the U.S. on a visa. We grew up in America, and I think we were very Americanized. We’ve grown up to feel a void in ourselves, we’re missing our culture. I’ve been here since I was three. But I’m really proud to be an immigrant because that’s what America’s all about, is coming to the States and doing something we couldn’t do in Cambodia.
Some of your designs are clearly inspired by fobby products. What else keeps you inspired?
Ricky: People I’ve met recently. They have been very inspirational to me. I go checking out blogs, I see what’s going on, music and arts in general. Lowell [Massachusetts], it has a deep history, I feel like there’s a lot of inspirational people. It’s a strong culture. Lowell has inspired me.
Tell me about the community-oriented aspect of F.O.B. clothing.
Sopheak: Being community driven is very second nature to us. We were already very community involved before [F.O.B. Clothing]. Once you get into the community you get diverse people together, it’s all about building bridges.
We want everyone to be comfortable being a fob.
Like snooping into people’s lives… by reading our interviews, that is? Check out AbFob’s exclusive chats with K-Town “Jersey Shore’s” super-ripped Joe Cha, founder of Vietnamese apparel Anh Oi, Tuan Nguyen, and (yes, shameless plug) our own interview with Channel APA!