Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shoptalk: Oaklandish

Oaklandish is a company that truly should have been the story that kicked off the Bay Area Style File blog, because this company is one of the few true Bay Area brands. Of course I’m a little partial to Oaklandish, because I was born and raised in Oakland, Ca., but don’t be confused Oaklandish tees and hoodies are worn by men, women, and children in every single city in the Bay Area, and by Bay Area natives nationwide. What you may not know is the heritage of Oaklandish is not an apparel company, the brand was founded in 2000 by a husband and wife duo Jeff Hull and Angela Tsay and began as a grass roots, innovative, and rebellious art project with Oakland as it's muse. In 2000 you would see Oaklandish in the form of posters of famous Oakland Native like Clint Eastwood, Bruce Lee attached to light post, or you could catch a Guerilla movie ( a film projected on the side of a building), there was also a wonderful art gallery space where Oakland works of are would be exhibited. After the first t-shirt was made in 2006 it was no looking back and apparel became what Oaklandish was known for as well as in 2006 the Grand Lake Farmer’s market became their unofficial home base for sales, although you will definitely find them in a variety of street fairs throughout the year! All the shirts and hoodies are pressed by hand in you guessed it Oakland, CA; they also print their stickers which I’m sure you’ve seen on many cars/bikes across the Bay. The company doesn’t just please its customers, but it also pleases the media by winning Best in the East Bay for apparel 3 times in a row, with an additional 16 other awards to boot. With all that you would think this company would’ve gone “Hollywood” by now, but that’s not the case Oaklandish has stayed true to its customer, and true to its community by giving back in big ways with its Innovators of Oakland awards where they donate to organizations around Oakland that shape the community in unique, innovative, artistic, and educational ways. This year Oaklandish donated $25,000 to the following wonderful programs The Bikery, Planting Justice, Diamond’s Hidden Jewels Mural, Oakland Urban Paths, Oakland Underground Film Festival, Oakland Leaf, Children’s Fairyland, Walk Oakland Bike Oakland. Oaklandish is truly a brand with love in it's heart for the city in which it takes it's name.

Want to get up close and personal with Oaklandish and see what all the buzz is about check them out at the every Saturday at the Grand Lake Farmers Market (9am-2pm) or the Temescal Farmers Market every Sunday (9am-2pm), and of course you can shop online at Oaklandish.org. Need more, follow them on twitter @0aklandish where Nick and Symone are giving you the 411 on the brand and all things Oakland!

Me in the Mandala Shirt by Oaklandish of course, Photo cred: Khalil @chocowhitfactry

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