With Oakland trending, who cares about a team?
The goal of the Bart Bridge Marketplace has always been to implicitly allow self expression. We used sports as our catalyst, because we found that people were a bit more capable of getting dressed up for a game. Though I still find this to be true, we are noticing a lot of people that want to express their love of town over their love of team. This is the beginning of our move away from sports related designs.
With that said, I introduce Oakbrandusa. The owner and head designer, Salene, is a true visionary and is one of the hardest workers I've met. She constantly has new ideas inspired by her hometown, Oakland. And more importantly, she executes. You may know her from her joint venture, Dubs Pop Up, often seen at Mad Oak, responsible for iconic gear such as the Klay Area sweatshirt. Now she's got a project all her own.
When I visited her studio, a refurbished coffee shop on MacArthur, you could see how all the pieces fit together. The ideas and excitement were flying around as readily as the ink. Seeing an artist's studio is truly revelatory, and having seen Salene in action, I know how diligent and fastidious she is. The vertical integration to the whole endeavor is a real testament to her competency- everything is done in-house. Oakland inspires a thought in her head, she hits the computer to make a graphic, prints the film, burns the screen, screens the shirt, and then takes the shirts out to the street to sell directly to the people. Everyone in Oakland should own one of her pieces.
The two we are showcasing on the BB Marketplace are the Oaklungs Onesie and the Swim or Drown in the Town zip hoodie.
Both of these pieces have something iconic about them. I hope the Oakland hospitals use the Oaklungs Onesies as their day-one uniforms of new Oakland residents, err, new-borns, and I see the Swim or Drown slogan as something akin to New York's (albeit stale) 'if you can make it here....' aphorism.
Additionally, As we expand into town fashion, rather than just team, these can both be gifted to any Oaklandaphile, not just sports fans. I'm super proud to have these pieces as our introduction into non-sports fashion.