The name Oxford West is inspired by UCSC's Oxford and Cambridge influenced college system. The campus is divided into ten residential colleges, each with its own identity and interdisciplinary focus. While attending Cowell College, the founders of Oxford West, Peter Blackshaw (UCSC/Cowell '88) and artist Marc Ratner (UCSC/Cowell '87), collaborated on a number of slug designs during the pro-slug movement, including the wildly popular Zen Slug, the Fighting Banana Slug, Santa Cruz Athletics, Sleepy Slug, and of course the Fiat Slug.
The first hundred or so slug shirts were distributed within hours out of Pete's college dorm room. Since then, over 125,000 shirts have been sold through Oxford West's growing family of retail outlets, from the campus Bay Tree Bookstore to the Minnessota-based College Store in the famous "Mall of America."
Oxford West is now managed but a stones throw away from the UC Santa Cruz campus in the Santa Cruz Sash Mill. Current Director Annamalai Nagaraj also is an alumnus of UCSC.
Down the line, Oxford West hopes to excite other college in environments with academically inspired and somewhat satirical mascot designs.
You can visit our downtown Santa Cruz headquarters at the historic Old Sashmill:
303 Potrero Street, Santa Cruz, CA