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Oso Apparel
Credit: Leonardo Gutierrez

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at Luigi and Pikachu ever again, and you know what… that’s fine!  The bear world has been abuzz on social media this week, as these incredibly hot and amazing recreations of characters from Super Smash Bros have been popping up all over the place!  This is all courtesy of Oso Apparel, who has set their mission to create bear apparel for “bear lovers, geeks, and fashion-forward folk”, according to their Facebook page with the Super Smash bears series and so much more.  Seems to be doing the trick so far.

Oso Apparel
Credit: Leonardo Gutierrez

We have covered bear related apparel before on the website, but nothing like this which takes iconic characters and brings them to life in a hairier and completely sexier kind of way.  The brains behind all of this is Santiago, Chile based Leonardo Gutierrez, and his more silent partner Ian who resides in Los Angeles, California.

Credit: Leonardo Gutierrez

Leo’s story, just like so many in the career world (especially with LGBTQ), is one of realizing your talent and sticking with it no matter how many obstacles are in front of you.  Leo starting working on the Super Smash Bears series a couple of months ago after the game studio he was working for shut down for business.

Credit: Leonardo Gutierrez

His inspiration to do this sort of thing is Massive Goods, whose creative director is Graham Kolbeins and someone we have featured on Manhattan Digest before (see here).  With that inspiration in mind, he wanted to make products including wallpaper and shirts out of the designs but ran into a ton of problems while doing so.  He felt the websites that he could go to to help promote his products were limiting, and that according to him, “I felt it was going to be just another artist slapping his art on a shirt like it’s nothing. I wanted MORE, I wanted to feel like I was making fashion, not just merchandising.”

Credit: Leonardo Gutierrez

He started to do research on making the shirts on his own, but that came with its own issues as well.  “With each step forward, there were issues that took me two steps back – like learning that sublimation on ready-made shirts leaves artifacts in most cases. After a while I came to the conclusion that doing this in my city is a real hassle, small providers have really high prices and big providers have really high minimums, while my budget wasn’t high at all.”

Credit: Leonardo Gutierrez

He then reached out to his now business partner Ian regarding researching providers in Los Angeles and manage production for Oso Apparel, and the rest of history.  Now the two of them are in full gear with their line of products that highlight bear culture in a super fun and interesting way, and the Super Smash Bears line is hopefully the first in many that these two will produce as time goes by!

Credit: Leonardo Gutierrez

Pre-ordering is now officially available for Oso Apparel, which is set to happen the first week of August. So soon!  You will definitely see me rocking these designs as the summer continues and I look forward to seeing what’s next from Leo and Ian.

For more information on Oso Apparel, check out their official website.