The pandemic shutdown took away many in-person events, and along with them a reason to dress up. People stayed home and fashion suffered.
However, since Oakland’s massive monthly street festival First Fridays restarted in September 2021, The Town has drawn thousands of visitors from the Bay Area and beyond who have been eager to show off clothing, jewelry, and accessories, some from local designers and shops.
We attended the Sept. 2 First Fridays event to see what people were wearing. In true Oakland fashion, a drum circle at the center of the fair created a soundtrack for the colorfully dressed crowd that paraded along Telegraph Avenue. Festivities continued well into the moonlit night as attendees poured into surrounding bars and shops.
Here are some of the most stylish people we spotted.
San Francisco resident Jay El was an Oakland resident for 38 years before moving to the City. He’s wearing a shirt he bought from Grandeur, a local shop on Grand Avenue.
West Oakland resident Kiayana Keme (@keikei_tha_hood_hippie) poses outside the familiar pink walls of Beauty Supply Warehouse on Sycamore Street. Keme is carrying a personalized cane, and wearing earrings and an assortment of gems around her neck which she has been gifted, purchased from local vendors, and collected herself in nature.
Armin Mahini (left) and Alejandro Perez enjoying First Friday. Mahini is wearing a shirt he bought on Facebook promoting the 2021 Space Jam sequel “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” and Perez is donning a shirt he bought from Mitchell & Ness, a popular online jersey store.
Jimmy Harlam, who is visiting from Ohio, said his pants are made from 100% recycled plastic and were gifted to him by a “hippie chick” in Michigan.
Berkeley resident Vita’s earrings were a cherished gift from her mother who lives in Belarus. Her bag was given to her by a friend and her velvet shirt was purchased from a Goodwill in Portland, Oregon.
Matthis (@matthisjunefrance), a resident of Piedmont, is wearing an assortment of online brands including her top, which is from Sommer Swim, and her pants, which are from Pretty Little Thing.
Oakland locals Angel Tlachi-Smith (left) (@watermygardens) and Marcella (@thecellfiles) enjoyed a performance at First Friday. Tlachi-Smith is wearing a shirt from Ross, a skirt thrifted at the Goodwill, and shoes that were gifted by a friend. Marcella is wearing lemon slice earrings she bought from a local vendor during a previous First Friday event.
Alameda resident Andrew Jyulai’s (@andraspetergyulai) outfit was entirely thrifted in Hungary, his home country.
Adrian Contreras (@cowboy_ad145) and Elidey Segura (@alldayelidey) enjoying First Friday. Segura is carrying a Prada bag and wearing Nike Dunk shoes, and Contreras is wearing a shirt from the local San Francisco clothing brand Midnight Organic.
UC Berkeley student Angelina Songco (@angelinajoys) said she is most proud of her tapestry tote bag, which her sister got in Europe, and of her emerald green and gold earrings which she bought in Los Angeles Chinatown.
San Leandro resident and self-proclaimed “70s kid” Habakka brought her dog Han Solo to the street fair, which she navigated on roller skates. She said she bought her clothes at a discount when the retail shops opened up again following lengthy pandemic closures.
Walter Swindell (left) and Kiyana Lewis attended First Friday while visiting from New York to attend a wedding. Lewis’s jacket is from Free People and Swindell’s hoodie is from Scotch and Soda.
Jenni Anderson (@truerelijen) a San Francisco resident, is wearing a skirt, vest, and earrings from Free People and a jacket from Nuuly, an online clothing rental service.
Aneri Patel (left) (@imworkinoncry1n) and Anokhi Patel enjoying the summer night. Aneri is wearing a Juicy Couture top and carrying a purse from Goodwill, and Anokhi is carrying a beaded purse from Goodwill in Oakland.
Stephan Sorho (left) and Alizae Shaw (@alizaekavosiea) walk in the moonlight. Sorho is wearing a shirt from Depop, an online buy-and-sell platform for clothing, and Dr. Marten boots. Shaw is carrying a vintage bag from Poshmark, another online buy-and-sell platform for clothing.