History / Inspiration
The word "hella" can be used as an adjective, adverb, affirmation or explanation. Academics call it an "intensifier" — a word that adds emphasis to any statement. Linguists were already writing papers about the word "hella" in the early 1990s. Mary Buchholtz noted that the term broke boundaries, and was "used among Bay Area (and more specifically Oakland, CA) youth of all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds and both genders." Within a few years, Hella had spread around the world — but everyone knows it started right here in Oakland. And the people of the East Bay are used to hearing Hella spoken far from home — after all, slang words are some of our top exports. The rest of the world is just lucky that we're nice enough to share.
About the designer
This product is designed by Oaklandish. Everyone we work with is involved in creating artwork, choosing colors, or selecting fabrics. It's a detailed process that doesn't end until the shirts are folded and ready to represent Oakland.