Flashback Friday – The History of Stüssy

Originally from surf inspired roots, California-bred Shawn Stüssy started his business in 1980. A business which turns 38 this year and generated over $50 million last year, today we are finding out a bit more about what made it so successful.

Stüssy began by creating surfboards that combined innovative performance shapes with a graphic style combining elements from reggae, punk and new wave music, leaving his literal mark on each board with a broad-tipped black marker. His signature paid homage to both graffiti styles and his uncle, abstract painter Jan Frederick Stüssy.

In 1984, the label was the first to make caps marked with signifiers for fashion brands, not sports teams. Shawn got inspired from kids wearing white painter’s caps – he reinterpreted them with his own graphics and colour schemes. Among two of Stüssy’s most enduring designs are a pair of linked S’s, a play on the famous interlocking C’s of the Chanel logo, and a graphic that says “Stüssy No. 4,” riffing on Chanel’s signature perfume.

In the brand’s younger years, Shawn Stüssy travelled to cities like London, Paris and Tokyo, where he found people who shared the same tastes in music, fashion and culture. In 1991, Stüssy and James Jebbia, then-owner of Union and future founder of streetwear label Supreme, opened Stüssy’s first flagship store in New York. A 900-square-foot space located at 104 Prince Street, it was part of the first crop of retailers that placed their flags in the gritty, up and coming Soho neighbourhood.

Fast forward to today, Stüssy is one of the most successful streetwear brands around, we have just had in a load of fresh pigment dyed tee’s so take a look online and in store at what we have to offer here at Natterjacks.

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