One of the reasons we love Oakland so much is that there is so much Oakland Pride. Whether Born and Raised or arriving to The Town by choice, we’re all cosmically connected through our devotion to Oaktown.
And the throngs of the the Oakland Proud know where to get their Oakland gear to demonstrate their love.
One of those institutions is Beast Oakland. So we were very excited to finally go visit it. It is always fun to see how artists express their Oakland Love. Owner Fernando Santos has creatively transformed the iconic Port of Oakland cranes into wicked looking beast-dinosaurs in a graphic that is also inspired by the Warriors logo. It’s an imaginative and way-cool graphic that is now very well-known. There’s an expansive assortment of Oakland love designs represented on t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, caps, sweaters, jackets, and more. Happily, it’s all printed on high quality American Apparel so it feels and looks really good.
But the story of Beast Oakland is so much more than great Oakland product. Unfortunately, our man was not there the day we visited to relate it. So, we’ll do our best based upon what we’ve heard and researched. Most often, there seems to be a direct correlation between those who are devoted to Oakland and those who give back the most to their communities. And, so it seems with Santos. He translates his love of Oakland into action. We love that Santos is an art teacher and provides support and guidance to at risk kids. We love that his shop is family owned and operated. He’s a man that cares and wants to change the world around him for the better. Needless to say, we so want to meet him.
Here is a youtube video where Fernando talks about his journey to open his shop.