Over the past few years, streetwear saw the birth of many emerging fashion labels with El Paso-based clothing brand On My Own being one of them. Founded in 2018 by Bobby Lerma Jr., OMO creates an original line of unique collectibles, releasing in exclusive limited-edition capsule collections. The rising streetwear label continues its commitment to creative endeavors, combining their ethics with a series of unique and functional designs that go hand in hand with some incredible aesthetics.
On My Own produces high-quality garments with a product focus on what Bobby describes as clothing that embodies a message. The brand specializes in a wide range of limited edition bags, accessories, and T-shirts with “OMO” plastered across them. The meaning behind the company name and slogan—which is partially inspired by PARTYNEXTDOOR—derives from Bobby’s perspective on how at times, only we truly grasp what goes on at times and sometimes we have to walk that journey alone.
We had the pleasure of chatting with founder Bobby Lerma Jr. about laying the foundation for OMO, collaborations, and plans to build the brand. Read below!
So how did you feel when you held your first piece of clothing in your hands?
I honestly remember the first drop that I had, I wasn’t too serious about it back then. I remember I did thirty shirts back in high school and I dropped them on a Friday and by Sunday they were all gone. I was thinking like this is really dope that people are wearing my stuff. That weekend made me think like hey, I can start taking this serious so I just started doing little drops here and there.
You mentioned you convey a message through every piece of clothing. Can you tell us more about that?
So the brand is called On My Own and in reality, you can tell people how you feel and what’s going on but no one truly knows or understands how you feel. Of course, you can only tell your family or friends so much, but I feel like when you wear the clothing, you embody that message. It is what it is, at times I’d be telling my girl or my fam that things are good, but I might be over here going through it. That’s the whole badass thing about it, you just stay true to yourself. Just on my own, doing my own thing.
Something I was wondering is whether the pandemic has affected your creative process. Would you mind telling me about that?
So honestly, with the pandemic, it gave you time to think to yourself. It helped me get better at designing and another thing we wanted to do is more pop-ups, but that couldn’t happen. I had one back in August for my summer collection, Cactus Club, and it was one of our first. I was just trying to bring everyone together after the pandemic and it was a whole atmosphere for the city. Since the pandemic, everyone has been on their grind and I still have archives that I could pull up and draw but I feel like everything we drop has to have a meaning.
Is there anything that you wish you would’ve known before starting this business?
Back then, the first drops, I wasn’t too concerned with the quality and tags. It’s a whole learning process, it is what it is but now obviously, I have dope quality and I sow my tags. It’s all a working process but I wish in general, I wish I would’ve learned to design and just the basics. All my designs back then were on a little sketchbook and I would vectorize them from there. It wasn’t digital until maybe a couple of months after, but that’s when I learned to work in Photoshop and Create. Again, it’s all a work in process, that’s just the way it is. Even to this day, I’m still learning and researching.
What has been the most exciting part about building your own fashion brand?
It’s the whole process. It’s a dope feeling when you’ve been working on something for a while and it just sells out quickly. I love doing photoshoots and meeting new models or working with models we’ve worked with before. Just creating this atmosphere, it’s not just shirts, it’s creating a community. Out here in Austin, everyone is working on different things from clothing and music and that’s one thing that really excites me. That’s honestly one of the most exciting things about, just enjoying the whole process.
Collaboration is obviously a super huge part of fashion—are there any brands or celebrities that you dream of doing a cross collection with?
In the future, it would be dope to work with some other brands. I look up to KidSuper, Heron Preston, and… honestly Chinatown Market, I like their graphics. I see they collaborate with a lot of brands. But I would love to do a collaboration or projects that have to do something with sustainability or something to help out the community. People might fuck with your clothing, but I genuinely think that we need to focus on sustainability.
You’ve experimented with bags, T-shirts, hoodies, and so on, is there any type of clothing piece you want to experiment with?
There’s been a lot of things that I want to work with. Getting into the wholesaling of it or designing the piece can get hard, but I for sure want to get into the bags and leather accessories. I’m working on this collab and it’s going to consist of two shirts, two socks, and one of one exclusives. So it’s going to be some dope cut and sow ski masks, hoodies, and so much more. I’ve been lowkey fucking with bags because a lot of people rock with them, they’re different and it’s a dope piece you can travel with.
What is your vision for the future?
Honestly, in the next few years, I envision higher quality fabric and getting my own warehouse. I want to get my own retail store out here in Austin, there’s a couple down here and they have pop-up stores and exclusive items. I would just want to have something along those lines. As the years go on, I want to create a whole atmosphere!
If you enjoyed our chat with On My Own, check out our interview with womenswear label LYNZI!