Oak Boys officially started in 2013 as something to be really inclusive and for people to stay updated. We wanted it to be hard and have edginess to it. There was always a lot of Oakland stuff but it just said “Oakland.” For example, our stuff’s got “the thirties” or wild statements like “I wanna die and live Oakland,” I always liked turning up on it like that. Fantasy things, stuff you can only imagine but no one is gonna make, that was always our motto.
When I was younger I couldn’t afford the stuff that I wanted to wear. And it's like, you saw one thing, you want another thing, but would get something totally different. There was never a garment that would represent me unless it was really expensive sometimes. I don’t know if it was the same for you, but I used to steal a bunch of s@#*t, I used to shoplift like a motherf*^$#*r. And it's still the same situation for a lot of kids; unless I made it. So I wanted to provide something that’s just as cool as the things you can’t afford but make it affordable and accessible. And that’s what also inspired me to create this, it was my childhood.
I grew up in Oakland and also went back and forth a lot from Baltimore, Maryland. So being able to see what’s going on out there and out here definitely let me bring and add something to this and make it different and unique. I feel like since I’ve been back and forth, I’ve gotten a good worldview of things. Oakland is the only place I know where you can seriously sell your own vibe. People be doing all kinds of stuff and people be supporting them for coming out with they own wave and are more willing to try.
I’ve been other places and people think that if something ain't been called out by the main influencer or isn’t already some type of norm or trend, they don’t wanna give it the time of day. They have this tunnel vision. It’s been like that since I was a kid. This was the only place I know where people were wearing cartoon backpacks on their way to High School. I go anywhere else it's like you gotta have this and that and have some type of professional take on swag all the time. Being free with our style out here provides a playground for people to come out with something new.
Check out our Oak Boys collab collection, with more on the way soon!