Show Your Bones: OS Accessories
OS Accessories is a Manila-based brand, helmed by AJ Omandac and Paul Jatayna. The last time I saw the boys of OS was 2011, during the brand’s launch at 7th High, a popular club in the Philippines. Their creations were donned by the adventurous fashion lovers of the metro and since then, OS has reached an international audience. Their work has been worn by the likes of Rhianna, 2NE1, and G-Dragon. Surely, this marks OS as a true success and there’s no hint of them slowing down! The boys of OS share with us today, through an email interview, about their humble beginnings and their plans for the future.
When did you start OS Accessories and what prompted you to do so?
OS was launched last April 2011. Almost a year before that we were vacationing in Baguio City and while walking in session road, we saw tribal necklaces that made use of snake and shark bones. We wrapped our metal chains around it and thought it was really cool.
What drew you to bones? What exactly about them made you feel like working with the material/reproducing them synthetically?
Why not? Haha Bones are beautiful and macabre at the same time. We were supposed to use real bones at the start but we have to go through so much paperwork and law states that we can only use from farmed sources. That’s when we decided to reproduce them in polyurethane. We were aided by artist-friend Leeroy New who trained us to make moulds etc.
What are you like when you’re not working? Please describe your life outside of Os.
A life outside OS is almost nonexistent! But seriously, we are normal people who enjoys hanging out and dancing at the Future in Cubao, watching late night movies at the cinema, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and we’re online everyday. I guess when you’re so passionate/into what you are doing, there really isn’t a boundary between work and life. When we’re dining out, we still manage to talk about our brand (strategy, sales, people) and when we work, it’s really just hanging out with each other with our fingers busily sculpting a new bone design while watching 2 Broke Girls or something. Haha!
What is your creative process like?
We usually start a collection with a theme. The 2nd collection revolved around BDSM (pain,pleasure,submission,control) while the 3rd collection was inspired by the SeaPunk movement mixed with toxic waste and pollution. Our current collection that we are still working on is set to be launch by the end of May.
After constructing a theme, we then collect as much bones as we can from laboratories, markets, restaurants and sometimes we sculpt from photos too. From there we create samples either from sketch to final product or the other way around.
What is your work dynamics like? Who handles what?
I handle the Operations (finance, production and management) and design. Paul handles the Creative Direction and Sales & Marketing and our new hire Joan handles warehousing and logistics. Our production on the other hand are all subcontracted which is varies from 3-6 people per production cycle.
Was it really the brand’s intention to cater to an international audience?
Yes it was part of our mission and vision (the business plan) and we formulated from the start that our target market would be global. It just took a little while and a lot of hard work to finally tap our niche markets effectively.
How did OS end up outside Philippine shores?
We got featured in this site called Trendland.com a few months after we have launched the brand. Because of that, we got our first stockists from Taiwan and Malaysia.
What is the most challenging part of this business and how do you manage?
Right now we thought the hardest part would have been creating the perfect product or at least a good quality design! But it seems that in business, dealing with people is the most challenging. Managing your employees, taking care of your customers and maintaining a good relationship with your suppliers and partners and so on.
Where could we find your works?
What are your future plans for Os? What can we look forward to? What are you looking forward to?
We’re releasing Vol 4 soon. Right after that, we will start developing our home line and probably an upmarket jewelry line as well!
Text by: Donna Lopez Manio
*Images courtesy of OS Accesories
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