Rockridge Proud

A Locksley Avenue dweller dresses entrepreneurs for success and benefits Oakland.



Photo by Lance Yamamoto

When Randy Wells left the fashion industry in 2005, he wanted to find a business that inspired him. Creating a great product was not enough, though combining quality craftsmanship with social impact ignited his passion. Wells launched clothing company Rockridge with a lofty goal: build a company as big as Gap or Levi’s while maintaining a strong community connection. “I wanted to build the kind of company where the work was meaningful and fun,” said Wells.

The company’s first offering is the Locksley button-down shirt ($110), which was envisioned for today’s entrepreneurs and therefore designed to be as comfortable on a bike ride to work as it is at a dinner with investors. The 100 percent U.S. cotton shirt is made in America, and while it comes in five varieties, the shared details—mother-of-pearl buttons, orange gussets, signature collar detail—take this shirt from classic to classy. Other elements serve as little winks to Bay Area customers, including the small bits of orange that pay homage to the San Francisco Giants World Series victory of 2014. “The shirt is telling a story,” said Wells, who added that Rockridge was named for his Oakland neighborhood and the Locksley for his street. “I wanted the details to tie back to the Bay Area. It becomes something that people can be proud of.”

Two percent of profits are given to DonorsChoose.org, a national nonprofit that benefits education, including Oakland schools, by helping to buy much-needed classroom materials. In addition, each quarter, the Rockridge website will feature an interview with a local entrepreneur, particularly those of color. “Having other people share their journey makes that conversation more dynamic,” noted Wells, who is African American.

Buy the shirt at the Rockridge website, where new products are expected to debut this year; or shop Asmbly Hall, 1850 Fillmore St., San Francisco. RockridgeSF.com

 

Published online on March 7, 2017 at 8:00 a.m.

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