The TRIBAL Years
During the time Bobby was Lowriding, he was also in school and stayed in school because of the discipline instilled by his father. With a strong work ethic and artistic vision, it was only natural for Bobby to start his own business. In 1989, Bobby and his brother, Joey, started Tribal Gear. The brothers took blank tee shirts and began applying their own designs. Joey was designing tattoo graphics and Bobby was designing graphics influenced by his graffiti background. When most of us think of graffiti, we think of the "hip hop" style of graffiti. Bobby's style is a bit different, though it shares the same roots, as he has mastered the West Coast gangster and neighborhood style of graffiti. This style is based on different types of letter styles like old English and block style lettering. A lot of the early designs that Bobby and Joey completed were Mayan and Aztec in nature?which is why the name Tribal was chosen. The start of the brand was rough, but with the addition of Carl Arellano, Tribal pulled through and has not looked back since.
Over the past 20 years, Bobby and Tribal Gear have worked with some of the best artists from countries like Japan, Germany, and the United States. Because of the reputation of the brand, artists like OG Abel, Mister Cartoon, Jose Lopez, Chaz, and Zodak have contributed their artwork to the brand. Bobby has developed relationships with recording artists like P.O.D., Snoop Dogg, and Korn, as well as others to represent Tribal. While the brand itself is known for their legendary T-shirts, they also make cut and sewn items as well, to make sure their supporters can be outfitted in Tribal from head to toe. With its crossover appeal, it is not uncommon to see people from all walks of life sporting this iconic brand.
Though the brand has become widely successful, the ever-humble Bobby does not take credit alone for the success of Tribal and his career in Lowriding. He thanks his father, his brother Joey, his wife and children, Carl Arellano, Groupe SD, as well as the many shops and individuals that retailed his clothing and worked on his automotive builds.
After repeated successes in Lowriding and business, where does Bobby Tribal go from here? He plans on continuing to develop his personal and professional lives, each playing a part in the other, though he dedicates a lot of time to his kids. Bobby plans on teaching his children the business and bring Tribal to the next level. He would also like to work with and teach students at the college and university level. After speaking with this "Renaissance Man", one thing is clear; Bobby and Tribal will keep moving ahead, transcending, and evolving, just like the Lowrider Culture.