Shawn Stussy, the founder of his eponymous surfwear brand, is often cited as being one of the originators of streetwear. Since launching his California-based label in the early '80s, Stussy has enjoyed a career spanning three decades and has outlasted many of his peers by creating wearable staples and limited runs, all the while appealing to a number of different subcultures. However, on Thursday, the label's founder appeared to diminish the very genre of fashion he is credited with creating.
Stussy took to Instagram to recall the story of his brand's origins, and share a photo of his first seller's permit, which he refers to as the "first official document from the man to get on the playing field." However, one fan then asked the brand's founder whether or not "streetwear was born in Laguna Beach?"
"In my opinion, streetwear was a stillbirth as far as I am concerned... I never adopted the word/phrase, it was somebody who had to write an article and needed a buzzword i think?... i just made shit, end of story," Stussy replied.
Stussy has been the subject of countless articles celebrating streetwear and honoring his contribution to the genre. In 2016, Highsnobiety published an article in which they claim that if it weren't for the surfer-turned-entrepreneur, "this website, this culture, and probably the clothes you’re wearing right now would likely not exist."
Although he may be referring exclusively to the phrase itself, referring to streetwear as a "stillbirth" seems as though it would come out of just about anybody's mouth before his.