If you’ve recently browsed our new in section at Topshop you might have spotted the presence of Stussy clothing. The iconic grey tee shirts, oversized logo sweats and baggy tanks are just a few key pieces from the go-to name in fashion forward streetwear.
In the late ‘80s on the Southern Californian coast, surfer Shawn Stussy shaped surfboards for friends before deciding to promote his business with printed t-shirts and shorts emblazoned with his surname. Needless to say they created a bit of a stir and it was his graffiti styled-out surname that became the company logo, the slogan that is now recognised across the world.
Inspired by underground movements, sportswear, hip-hop and rasta culture, Stussy, in it’s essence, is anti-fashion and anti-establishment. It’s all about the street. The so called “godfather of streetwear” has been mixing up their designs and graphics since the beginning using inspirations as far reaching as ’50 Americana, dinosaurs and black and white photographs on their products.
On the street but very much part of the fashion world, Stussy have been partnering with some of the coolest kids in the industry. There’s been a capsule collection of clothes and swimwear with Casette Playa, a limited edition line for VANS, later with KEDS and more recently with LA based design collective LOVE-MADE.
Initially this skater brand was boys only but enough girls’ became interested in the brand for them to start a line dedicated to the ladies. Designer Pauline Takahashi Saunders is now behind the women’s side of the brand and the vision constantly pushing the boundaries of the contemporary streetwear label.
We delved into Stussy’s archives and had a long chat with their team to get the skinny on the latest brand we’re lusting over.
How did Stussy come to be?
Shawn Stussy started out as a surfboard shaper back in the early 1980s in Laguna Beach, CA. He started with basic tees and sweats with his hand scrawled logo printed on them to go along with the surfboards he mainly sold to surfshops and small boutiques. The line slowly and organically grew to a point where he added on a cut & sew collection, hats and accessories.
There’s a rich lifestyle associated with the brand – how did this come about?
In the late ’80s, Shawn attended a trade show in New York City and met a few influential personalities within the city. Those relationships are what sparked a worldwide network of musicians, DJs, artists, skaters and others who were influential in their own cities. Everyone in this network also had both a true passion and a genuine love for the Stussy brand. The network, which we like to call the Stussy Tribe, is still in existence to this day and is a very integral part of our relationship and brand building.
How would you style up Stussy?
Because of the rich diversity throughout culture and style, Stussy can be styled up numerous ways be it preppy, athletic, street, military and beyond. It really all depends on who’s wearing it and how it’s interpreted.
Stussy describes itself as ‘anti-fashion’ – can you tell us a little bit more?
‘Anti-fashion’ is really about being submersed into a diverse culture and lifestyle and what you wear happens to be the byproduct. It’s not so much the main focus, so it comes across a bit more organic and effortless.
Get your hands on some iconic Stussy ware over at Topshop.com.