Far and few between is the pair of best friends who haven't cracked a witty inside joke and asked themselves the age-old question: Should we put this on a t-shirt? For the founders of OGBFF, the answer was a resolute yes.
Lauren Schiller, 24, and Angela Ruis ,27, are the original best friends behind OGBFF. The LA-based duo launched their e-commerce site last year, where they've dropped dozens of witty and campy designs. What began as an inside joke and a garment printer developed into small orders via Instagram DMs, before blowing up to the brand it is today, with nearly 50,000 followers across Instagram and TikTok and a cult-like following for their trendy designs and ironic humor.
Baby tees, Y2K-inspired tanks, mini skirts and neon hoodies splattered with OGBFF’s bold, semi-satirical, super-hilarious designs sell out almost instantly with each new drop; if you’re in your flop era, they’ve got a shirt for you to advertise it, and if you’re just really hot — well, there are a lot of shirts for that, too.
The brand is a viral sensation, and the epitome of the unbothered, funny, cool-girl look: if you’ve yet to scroll through social media without coming across influencers posting in the new micro-mini skirt (and Betsey Johnson herself loving the style) or other styles of OGBFF’s self-described “insanely hot clothes,” it’s only a matter of time before you do.
From running their first ever pop-up in New York City this month to preparing for a hot girl summer of neon, OGBFF is on the up and up, and they’re taking the rest of their best friends with them. Below, the founders talk us through their launch, viral growth and what’s in store for the future of the internet’s favorite best friends.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourselves and how OGBFF began? How did you meet and bring this brand to life?
We met really briefly pre-COVID at a music video. Neither of us were cast or crew, we both just had a friend that was managing the artist, so we pulled up for a good time. We were internet friends all throughout COVID, and then at the end of the year in 2020, we started hanging out and found that when we hung out, we both had so many ideas. We were always talking about making this, making that, and every time we hung out, we would make something, but just for fun. There was never a goal that was to sell or promote things. We were just having some fun.
We took pictures, videos, then turned to clothes, and then we would be posting about it. Then one day on Photoshop, we made the design that's like, "Back off, I have a crazy best friend." Angela has a garment printer, so we were like, oh my God, how funny would it be if we printed that on a shirt? Then when we posted it on our Instagram, like people were like, oh my God, how can we buy this? Immediately people wanted to buy this shirt that we just made for each other. And we just were posting about it just because we thought it was dope. So we sold on our personal Instagrams for a while through the DMs, accepting Venmo. Yeah. And then we were like, should we make a brand?
And this was just last year, right?
Yeah. We dropped our first shirt in February of 2021.
OGBFF designs are super fun, a little campy, a little ironic and very hot girl. What inspires your clothes?
From the start, I feel like it was just things that make us laugh. A lot of absurdity. We really lean into drawing inspiration from the internet, from memes and from jokes that we see. We try not to be specific with our inspiration, it's just our personalities and oh, this is making us laugh, so maybe it will make other people laugh.
The iconic "Mini Skirt" from your latest drop is going super viral, making rounds from Devon Carlson to TinyJewishGirl, who said that Betsey Johnson complimented it when she was wearing it. What did you think when you saw that?
That was crazy. That was just really wild because I have been such a Betsey Johnson fan for so long. She was iconic. Total legend, she really was making something that was unique. You saw something of hers and you were like, that's Betsey Johnson. That is so powerful to create your own aesthetic, and she did that and she still looks so cool. She's a real one. But that was a huge moment that was like, wow, you know what, that is a really cool skirt. And Betsey Johnson said so, so she's definitely right.
How was your shoot with TinyJewishGirl? What was the vision for that?
The vision for that was supposed to reflect her persona as well as ours. It was shot in her apartment, and she was like, Oh, I left it messy for you guys. We were like, That is perfect. But it was supposed to be a girl who has a unique sense of style and is getting dressed, and she just picks up the OGBFF mini skirt. She styled it with this neon micro bikini and a bedazzled, chain bra. So it’s just supposed to be like, Oh, I'm wearing this and just chilling around my apartment, lifting weights and touching my boyfriend's bass guitar.
Even aside from your name, OGBFF, you have a very bestie vibe going with your brand. You have a Close Friends Story going on Instagram, which I don't see a lot of brands doing. How did you come up with the OGBFF name, and how are you fostering this community of followers and supporters?
That genuinely is how we want it to feel, so I'm so happy to hear it's coming off that way. It's just the two of us making shit up and being like, Oh my God, that'd be so funny to print. It's not structured as probably a lot of thought-out businesses are structured. We're actually just having a good time and trying to take people along with us.
The concept was "original best friend." We thought it was perfect, because the logo would just be an acronym, but then the brand name would be Original Best Friend. And that was the plan, but obviously just OGBFF is what stuck. It was just a list of things that we thought were funny and OGBFF happened to be the one that we chose. It was important for us to have an acronym too, I think, because that just felt easy to remember.
What's next for you guys?
We're cultivating a summer girl moment. It's Venice boardwalk meets On A Downward Spiral. It's awesome. We just got this studio space too, so we're hitting the ground running. We're trying to get better at showing the actual behind the scenes of running this business. But we just bought this commercial DTG printer, and it's just really rare to be able to have a machine like that. And because we've been printing on a much smaller DTG printer, from day one it's been a dream to get this printer. We saved for so many months to get it. We're just actually making all of these clothes, and I think we have bigger dreams beyond the brand for this printer, because the goal is also to work with other brands that inspire us and be able to offer this printer to our network of friends and creators, which was also the goal all along.
Photos courtesy of OGBFF