Have you heard of Stussy? Perhaps you’ve heard of the brand, seen its distinctive logo, and have been intrigued. Maybe you’re actually a die-hard fan. Whether you’re new to the scene or a long-time veteran, here is some information to add to your knowledge of the Stussy brand.
Shawn Stussy started Stussy in California’s Orange County in the early 1980s. An avid surfer, Stussy started his own surfboard company, creating the distinctive logo by scrawling his last name with a marker on his boards. To promote his surfboards, Stussy silkscreened his signature onto some t-shirts – the accidental start of his clothing line.
Since, the Stussy brand has evolved from surfwear, to hip-hop streetwear, to urban surfwear, and again to hip-hop streetwear. The brand evolved as different market segments favored the apparel according to the geography and time period.
In 1988, Stussy and Frank Sinatra, Jr., his business partner, decided to expand Stussy to Europe, where the hip-hop crowd favored the brand, commoditizing Stussy hats as well as his signature. A few years later, Stussy and Sinatra, Jr. opened a boutique in New York’s SoHo, where the Stussy brand was not only embraced by those in the hip-hop scene, but also by men who adopted it as an urban surf style, enjoying the ‘tough’ look and designer line. Highly successful, the two opened other boutiques domestically and internationally throughout the 1990s. Domestically, the brand stood for high-priced ‘California lifestyle’ clothing, and abroad, was treated as a high-end international designer.
When Stussy resigned as president of the company in 1996 and Sinatra bought Stussy’s shares, many speculated about the brand’s direction. Stussy’s apparel has since well blended its surfwear tradition with hip-hop streetwear style, even featuring a 1980s throwback a couple of years ago. Currently, with key locations worldwide and in the US, as well as women and children’s collections, the Stussy brand maintains its reputation for unique and urban designer fashion.