How the original streetwear brand made it big without compromising its roots, as told by the people who got it where it is today.
As told to Jian DeLeon (@JianDeLeon)
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow...
In the first part of The Oral History of Stüssy, we found out how the company went from a surf brand informed by New Wave graphics and a punk mentality to a downtown New York shopping destination. Thanks to a global network of International Stüssy Tribe members, its influence and popularity spread far beyond the coastal Californian shores where it was initially conceived.
In the late '90s, Stüssy was in a tough spot, business-wise. American customers wanted something different, and voted with their wallets. However, in places like Europe and Japan, the burgeoning hip-hop streetwear movement was just popping off, and becoming the required uniform of modern counter-culture gear. Meanwhile, skate culture was the new thing, and larger companies like Nike hadn't even begun to pay attention yet. Read on to learn how Stüssy remained at the forefront of that movement, and how it helped kick-start the limited-edition sneaker craze.
Everyone is listed with his or her relationship to Stüssy first, followed by their current title.
Shawn Stüssy - Co-Founder of Stüssy; Founder of S/Double Studio
Frank Sinatra Jr. - Co-Founder of Stüssy
James Jebbia - Founder of Union; Founder of Supreme
Paul Mittleman - Stüssy Creative Director (post-Shawn); adidas Creative Director
Eddie Cruz - Manager at Union; Owner of Stüssy Los Angeles Chapter and Founder of Undefeated
Nick Bower - Stüssy Designer
Jules Gayton - Original Stüssy Tribe Member; DJ
Robbie Jeffers - Stüssy Skateboarding Team Manager; Photographer
Keith Hufnagel - Stüssy Skateboarding Team Rider; Founder of HUF
Alex "Baby" Turnbull - Original Stüssy Tribe Member; DJ