By: Petra Magno
OS Accessories is so underground that its creators won't reveal exactly how they met. Online, they say; pleasantly evasive, but that doesn't really matter now. It's been two years since OS's inception -- AJ and Paul bought animal bones on a Session Road sidewalk and idly wrapped them around a metal Topman necklace -- and since then, they have earned international press, a cult following, and Vice Ganda's money.
Drawn to the beauty of metal and bone set side by side, and inspired by the thought of fractures -- "'Yung pinapalitan 'yung bone mo ng metal," -- AJ and Paul created OS Accessories. Yet bone is not the easiest material to work with. Other than the obvious problem of harvesting them, smaller bones are often too fragile to work metal into. Also, they're almost impossible to export. OS's mission was to make bones reproducible.
Artist Leeroy New schooled the two designers on casting molds, and by employing polyurethane and their laundrywoman's daughter, OS began to take shape. They found inspiration everywhere: from trips to the meat market to their restaurant leftovers. "We don't look at roadkill," Paul says, "we probably should." AJ grimaces, "Ayoko, kadiri."
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AJ, sweet of face and quick to laugh, is 27 years old, and when asked to explain his role in OS, ticks off most of the boxes. "Admin stuff," he says, "konting production, marketing, sales... HR." Paul, 23 and fashion-handsome, says dryly, "AJ took everything. [I do] brand image. [I'm the] blogger." They also manage a three- to six-man production team that handcrafts each of their pieces. The first member was their laundrywoman's daughter, who brought in her friends to help. "Sila na 'yung backbone namin," Paul says, "they handcraft [the pieces] from first to last process."
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