"Turns out purple hair is the ultimate icebreaker. It kicks off almost every interaction."
(1 of 13)
"I like to nod to my Afghan ancestry. I'll wear my Nike Frees with a vintage dress and some ethnic textiles."
(2 of 13)
"I bought this hat after reading Nomads of Niger. In that culture, the men wear these hats to get the women's attention."
(3 of 13)
"I'm the opposite of a hoarder—to a fault. I get on my minimalist high horse, purge everything, and all of a sudden my closet is empty."
(4 of 13)
"My closet if full of the sort of colors you'd see in a nebula. I call it cosmic-hood."
-Queens D. Light
(5 of 13)
"My earrings are by a local jewelry designer, INEYEGO. I'm a thrifty shopper, so everything I wear is usually secondhand or handmade."
(6 of 13)
"I was getting rid of my old couch and my friend Haley offered to trade: My couch for three of the most epic, old-lady-sparkle fanny packs."
(7 of 13)
"I wanted to explore what it would be like to be a blonde Asian for a hot second, so I bleached my hair. My eyebrows are colored with a blue Milani pencil—I like to get in touch with my inner samurai."
(8 of 13)
"The earrings are strung with tiny bells. If I'm really stomping along, I hear a faint jingle."
(9 of 13)
"I splurged on these shoes when I was in New York and they're worth every penny. I wear them whenever I want to make my outfit extra fly."
(10 of 13)
"I get all my jewelry from street vendors and designer friends."
(11 of 13)
"I study the Fulani tribes and the way they adorn themselves."
-Queens D. Light
(12 of 13)
"People who don't know me think I'll put on any crazy thing, but I'm actually very selective about the wild stuff I wear."
(13 of 13)
Editor's Note: This is one of many dispatches from Oakland that San Francisco magazine is publishing over the next month, all part of our June "Oakland Issue." To see the rest of the issue's contents, and to read stories as they become available online, click here.
What is Oakland style? Definitely not normcore, and a far cry from S.F.’s ubiquitous chambray and ballet flats. The look is more clothing swap than sample sale, unmatched rather than on trend. It's gaudy, it's garish, and—as the individualists above will tell you—it doesn't give a damn about what anyone else thinks.
Originally published in the June issue of San Francisco.