It seems like every label-based retailer, from J.Crew to Club Monaco, carries third-party brands these days. The Hundreds is no exception. Bobby Hundreds has decided to stock other brands at his brand's Santa Monica location, a first for the Los Angeles-based streetwear blog-turned-clothing line. Highsnobiety had the pleasure of discussing this endeavor with the brand owner who explains larger concepts than simply supplying different merchandise. Expect to see SSUR, Fuct, Hall of Fame, CLOT, Married to the Mob, Gourmet, Only, and CLSC at The Hundreds Santa Monica location.
Check out the best of the interview below:
[via The Hundreds]
So at The Hundreds Santa Monica, you are for the first time ever, stocking outside brands in one of your stores, why did you decide to take this step? And why Santa Monica specifically?
It actually didn’t make sense NOT to. The Hundreds is founded upon supporting our community, the friends and brands that make up our secret little universe. When you come to our website, or if you follow my Instagram, the majority of the content is spotlighting other people and their work. As much as we like to big-up ourselves, it’s just as important for us to raise awareness for the Streetwear marketplace. I mean, we have an industry news feed (The Feed) dedicated to bringing attention to people and product we’ve never even met, but for the fact that we admire their work. So why is it that when you walk in a The Hundreds store, it’s just about us? Once we considered that, the answer was clear. Our shop should exist as a platform to discuss, educate our customers, and promote the brands we respect and love. Santa Monica is the perfect opportunity to do it because we have the most space, and we also aren’t stepping on any other multi-branded stores’ toes within our vicinity. It’s in our backyard and was easy for us to test the waters.
Are you at all concerned that this move will dilute the TH message within your retail spaces?
Not at all. As I was saying, The Hundreds’ philosophy is one of community. We realize that Streetwear is not just about us, but it’s beauty is rounded out by the participation of all these players. A friend of ours is a friend of yours. If you like The Hundreds enough to enter our doors, then we hope you trust us to show you some other stuff that we are personally fans of.
What are your thoughts on the current state of streetwear retail as a whole?
Streetwear has it’s work cut out for it. The brands who have managed to survive over the past decade are now in a position to take it to the next level. The mainstream is starting to catch on, as well as the mall customer. But can your infrastructure handle it? Do you want to stay true to your independent roots or open it up? And at this point, it takes money to make more money… where is it coming from? It’s a lot of boring, business questions, but they make and break brands. It is most challenging for the next chapter of Streetwear brands. Some of my favorites are CLSC, Born X Raised, and Stray Rats. After our generation passed through, it’s been nearly impossible for anyone else to come up, and for years I couldn’t figure out why that was. The reality is that everyone’s attention span is so depleted, compounded by the fact that the Internet expedites a brand’s longevity. The result is that most new brands don’t stand a chance. They can break through quicker, but blow out faster. Fast rise = fast demise. And the name of Streetwear’s game is all about “Slow and steady wins the race.” What happens when the racetrack is sped up under your feet? Can you keep up? And with retail, it’s all online. It’s not even on your desktop, it’s in your pocket. Plus, it’s not even just headed there, it IS there. So that’s a completely different game from a brick-and-mortar situation, one that involves mobile and apps and social media and all of these things that traditional retail never weathered. Again, I have to reiterate though, that it is all very exciting and challenging and we at The Hundreds are up for it.