In this case, we had incorrectly assumed it was a screen printing service with limited retail. To be honest, we nearly passed it by. But the artistically distressed 510 Brand door with the words Oakland Love attracted us. Not to mention, the shop greeter, a headless child mannequin sporting Oakland gear, tickled our sense of humor. We at least wanted to photograph the door and mannequin. But, we also wondered what other surprises awaited us on the other side.
So we went into the store. Manager Natalina Simi happily chatted with us and brought the store to life. We came to view 510 Brand as part retail shop, part artist studio, and part art gallery that pays homage to Oakland and Oakland artists. Here, t-shirts are the canvas of choice for artistic expression of Oakland pride. Our favorite tee was the “Enjoy Oakland Classic” which exemplifies the cheeky, fun attitude seen in many of the graphic designs throughout the shop. When you finish browsing the array of high quality apparel, you will find yourself examining the work of the featured local artist(s).
This is the Little Oakland Shop that Could. And it’s fun, quirky, and intelligent.
If you’re planning a shopping excursion on Grand Ave, start here. Pick out your favorite Love Oakland threads to get in the mindset, and check out the rest of the neighborhood!
NOTE: 510 Brand redesigned it’s store in the FALL of 2019. These photos are of the old shop.
More about 510 Brand
Address: 3224 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610
Phone: (510) 410-5390
Neighborhood: Grand Ave, Grand Lake District