With an identity closely linked to the skater and surfer culture, Shawn Stüssy’s brand has played a crucial role for streetwear to become the giant it is today. More than changing the game, Stüssy has been able to invent his own and make an entire industry dance to its rhythm.
Shawn Stüssy created his own eponymous brand in the early 80s, when he was only 13 years old. Young Shawn started designing surfboards on the west coast of North America. At that time, many surfers did the same, but the originality of Stüssy’s designs and his perseverance made him one of the most prominent on the coast. His boards featured a mix of punk elements, with nods to reggae and new-wave music. They all had something in common: Shawn’s signature planted with black sharpie and a characteristic typography that evoked graffiti art.
In 1984, in the heat of its popularity wave, Stüssy decided to launch his own clothing line with Frank Sinatra Jr. The brand began to ascend astronomically and became practically a uniform of the hip-hop scene. It wasn’t just about surfing, but about a culture, a fusion of music, sport and youth; a lifestyle. In 1991, the iconic James Jebbia – before founding Supreme – helped Stüssy to establish a foothold on the east coast of the United States. Jebbia led to the launch of the brand’s first flagship in Soho in New York. But a path of roses also has its thorns. These appeared in the mid-90s, when the brand was overshadowed by the rise of other streetwear companies.
Stüssy walked away from the brand and Sinatra took charge. He thoroughly analyzed the data and the brand’s impact until he nailed it: Stüssy was still very popular in countries like the United Kingdom and Japan, so, why not restructure everything with that new approach? Sinatra increased its distribution abroad and saved the brand. Meanwhile, Paul Mittleman joined as creative director of Stüssy in 1997.
From then on, its history is told by just taking a look at all of streetwear culture. Stüssy has created one of the most impressive backgrounds of urban fashion, partnering with sportswear brands such as Nike and luxury brands like Dior. He has influenced an abysmal number of figures and creative fields, becoming a point of reference and a strategic model for countless brands.
Stüssy's indelible mark lies in its ability to have turned an aesthetic line into a common identity for an entire community that could well laugh at today’s influencers. The brand knew who to count on and when to do it. He listened to skaters and surfers, had artists and creatives, allied with designers and entrepreneurs. All of them will be united forever under the name of «International Stüssy Tribe»
Stüssy is the world benchmark of casual wear. Its garments tend to bet on simple designs based on the lettering or graphic motifs that serve to make the brand’s hobbies clear. Its relaxed fits, the skill with which it combines paisley or patchwork prints against monochromatic and minimalistic pieces, and of course the quality of its pieces makes each collection a true must-have for streetwear lovers. In the Stüssy store at Hidden Sneaker you will find a careful selection season after season. Hop on the Stüssy wave.
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