By Dominique Drakeford

The Drakeford Sisters (Dominique on the left, Jazmyne on the right) are two Oakland natives who unequivocally are changing the game of fashion.

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19-year-old Jazmyne Drakeford is a freelance thrift stylist and curator of an upcycled fashion line called Black Nostalgia, styled as “Blvck Nostalgia.” As a designer, she takes old clothing, both vintage and contemporary, and reconstructs them to a funky and fresh new look.

25-year-old Dominique Drakeford is the CEO and Founder of Drake Natural, a Brooklyn-based sustainable fashion, PR and community development company. She works with ethical and socially responsible designers to connect them with customers and press outlets, while also working to uplift communities with intrinsic value.

Living and growing up in Oakland created an inspirational platform for their love of thrift and vintage clothing. Oakland, California is known as one of the most green and most sustainable cities in the nation. Dominique drew her iconic interest in fashion from ideals of conservation and environmental awareness. “Fashion holds the key to how we communicate our culture, our personality, and ideals of beauty,” states Dominique. Jazmyne also drew from elements of Oakland’s fortifying diversity and rich history.

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Thrift shopping along Telegraph Avenue and searching for hidden boutiques throughout the East Bay started out as a hobby. It wasn’t long before the vibrant city became an engaging environment that supported their creative expression for fashion. With closets full of 1980’s blazer jackets, pre-worn Buffalo Exchange blouses and refreshed MC Hammer pants from their parents’ closets, these trendsetters are reclaiming secondhand clothing as a first class act. They masterfully create outfits from virtually any genre.  By erasing mainstream definitions of style, they wear timeless fashion that celebrates creativity and social juxtaposition.

Dominique Drakeford has worked directly with Donna Karan of Urban Zen, The Green Shows, The Sway, Fashion Week Brooklyn and various other fashion moguls and events. Although Drake Natural is based in New York City, the Bay Area is where she continues to give back while finding creative ways to bridge the gap between the sister-like cities: Oakland and Brooklyn.

Both women are committed to creating positive change in their communities through fashion. Hosting a sensational “Secondhand First-Class” Thrift Sale at the East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC), they and a glammed-up energetic team of supporters refreshed quality used clothing for resale and provided an economic boost and sustainability benchmark, all while demonstrating that “thrift” is FLY.

Whether understanding “secondhand” from Jazmyne’s point of view — as a stylish statement piece that gives an outfit character — or Dominique’s mission to connect communities to a radical formula of sustainability and conscious living, these ladies are the epitome of fashion-forward.

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The Bay Area is in fact a “Mecca” for talent and hidden treasures.  The Drakeford sisters are at the beginning of their journey where secondhand is becoming popular as a catalyst for style, beauty and affordability. These fashion-first blood-bound innovators are pushing people to become increasingly attentive to the value behind personal clothing purchases. From the West Coast to the East, they are continuing to explore the potential for a modern movement to accelerate positive change, and of course doing it IN STYLE.

 

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Editor’s Note: This piece reflects an individual opinion and is not a reported story from Oakland Local. Oakland Local invites community residents to share their views about events and issues in Oakland. See our guidelines.

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3 Responses

  1. Frank E. Roberts Jr

    Wow, I love the look Dominique. You and your sister Jazmyne have grown up to be too very beautiful and extremely talented young ladies. Keep doing what you are doing.

    Reply
  2. Sasha Cohen

    Wonderful to read of you and your sister’s great work! Thank you for connecting me to the article. Look forward to working together to help promote your work & improve our world!

    Reply

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