While Supreme has taken the mantle as the biggest and most notorious American streetwear brand, it wouldn’t have anything without the innovation and foresight of Shawn Stussy. As ’90s contemporaries like Mossimo came and went, Stussy stayed the course, with the brand’s earlier days focusing on keeping tight control on product—using a retail mentality akin to Supreme’s current model. As the brand grew slowly over the decades, it became a blueprint for how to operate a massive business, while still maintaining its roots. Collections always include Stussy graphic T-shirts alongside paisley coach jackets and tie-dye fleece pullovers. This has led to collaborations with some of the best retailers, including Très Bien, Slam Jam, and Dover Street Market. Stussy also continues to make noise with clever initiatives, whether that be opening a store full of archival product in Santa Ana, California, or releasing bomber jackets and T-shirts modeled after the popular but short-lived Issey Sport line; a subbrand of Issey Miyake. Stussy defined streetwear well before it was ever an industry. Don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

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