TOMBOGO Embraces High School Angst with NYFW Collection
Upcycling designer Tommy Bogo found his muse in the cliques and clubs of high school.
In commemoration of the high school arts programs that built his creative vision, Tommy Bogo’s TOMBOGO found its inspiration in the academic stylings of high school. Set in the halls of Laguardia High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan, TOMBOGO’s Spring/Summer 2023 NYFW presentation invited all viewers to relive those teenage years. The designer’s knack for utility and sustainability was on full display, presenting a complete collection of thoroughly pocketed and layered looks. The collection is sleek, inventive, and above all dripping with high school spirit.
The collection, which TOMBOGO titled “For the Truent & the Fluent,” features a variety of garments meant to represent the sheer diversity of high school identities, from the jock to the artsy student. Some of these connections are fairly obvious, like the collection’s knit beige basketball uniform. The look features an entirely woven tank and shorts, sporting the text “FREELANCE 365” on the tank itself. And, in TOMBOGO fashion, the look is layered with a darker beige woven set underneath it.
Representing the artsy student is a dyed jacket and pants, with flurries of pink and blue enveloping the white base layers. The garment harkens back to the traditional tie-dyed shirt you may find on a high school student, but is injected with a more suave sense of subtlety. Like many of TOMBOGO’s looks, the outfit also features numerous pockets. This aligns with the brand’s mission: utilitarian, sustainable designs that catch the eye.
Other looks are a bit more abstract in their connection. Consider the designer’s knit button-down, which features cross-body stripes. This sweater is meant to embody loose-leaf paper, down to the three-hole punched sleeve. That’s part of the genius of TOMBOGO’s work, transforming these everyday objects into high-fashion looks.
Also represented in the collection is the everyday backpack, shown by a dark green button-down and pant combo. The look’s shirt features bungee cord detailing, which presents as a form of ribbing, meant to align with the common bungee cord design you’d find on a school backpack. The bungee cords give the outfit structure, turning an everyday object into a silhouette-defining design choice.
As models cruised down the runway in their new Segway scooters, it’s difficult not to feel that infectious high school nostalgia. For many of us, high school is a fashion period we’d rather not return to. It’s easy to think of high school as embarrassing, filled with teenage angst and hormones. TOMBOGO, in showing their appreciation for high school arts programs, embraces these challenges. They lean into the staples of high school embarrassment, with your ever-present backpack and tie-dye shirts, only introducing more nuance and taste. The result is a collection that is nostalgic but wearable, ironic but true.