Can I Get a Bite? Parody and Pop Art
Bobby Hundreds: Stussy was founded upon parody. The line was a direct rip-off of high-end fashion lines, but he brought it to the street level. The original SS logo looked like the Chanel logo.
Shepard Fairey: It’s the paradox of being able to be highbrow and lowbrow. I loved him stealing the graphics of a little girl flirting with a little boy. He would draw a Stussy medallion on the boy with a speech bubble that said, “I love to rock my gold for the ladies.”
Eric Brunetti: After Stussy and Haze was FUCT, XLarge, and Freshjive. That was all 1990. Anything after that is garbage.
Shepard Fairey: On the West Coast, Freshjive was doing kind of hip-hop, kind of rave. It crossed over and resonated with skateboarders.
Andrew Chen (3sixteen): The Freshjive shirt that flipped the Tide box opened peoples’ eyes to the creative things you can do with a corporate image completely changing it so it represents something new and fresh.
Rick Klotz: Stussy knocked off the Chanel logo, the Louis Vuitton logo, on and on throughout the years.
Eric Haze: My attitude about it from day one is that it’s biters’ paradise and more power to you. This is the essence of the style wars as they evolved. The crazy irony is that as time went on, there were companies who made their mark biting other companies, biting logos, who ended up suing other companies for biting them.
Rick Klotz (Freshjive): One was a parody of the Tide logo, the other one was a parody of the Big Gulp logo of the 7-Eleven. One was of a bubble gum wrapper and one was of Special K. Those really hit hard at the time.
Rick Klotz: So in 2004 I’m thinking it would be a great statement to break down the idea to a street level. So I parodied four companies: Stussy, Obey, Quicksilver , and Volcom. We pre-sold them, and we’re about to ship them, and the owner of Stussy [editors note: Shawn Stussy was no longer involved with the company] calls us and says, “We’re going to sue you if you do that.” They sued us for hundreds of dollars and a public apology. It was heavy.
Eric Haze: Up to that point the market had pretty much been surf/skate. The tipping point was when hip-hop—the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and the like—started to cross over and influence what everybody was doing.