Cult Streetwear Watch: The Hundreds

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the-hundreds-antenna-ballThere’s a buzz in the streetwear scene and the buzz is community. Long gone is the one way marketing style, as streetwear creators are now reaching out to their audience through the internet… and their audience is reaching back. Take Bobby Kim and Ben Shenassafar, founders and creators of The Hundreds, a streetwear brand created out of boredom in law school.

The brand started its business in 2003, featuring designs inspired by the California and Los Angeles lifestyles, specifically the SoCal’s skateboarding, surf, punk and hip hop cultures. As a nod to the times when the founders were growing up, the designs are heavily influenced by 80’s surf t-shirts and indie skateboarding clothing of the 90’s. There are a wide array of graphic t-shirts, denim, woven clothes, fleece, jackets and outerwear, headwear and accessories. By late 2008, The Hundreds had launched its shoe line titled The Hundreds Footware. Within its mere 5 years of existence, The Hundreds has also produced sub-labels such as Tens for women, The Hundreds Public label and the inhouse label titled The Hundreds Rosewood Collection.

Currently The Hundreds is housed at their original flagship store in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, and a second store in Union Square, San Francisco. They’re also stocked at over 400 accounts in almost every major city throughout the globe. The popularity of the brand has been boosted by coverage from media outlets such as the New York Times Magazine, Antenna, Giant Robot, KoreAm, MuchMusic Television, Inc. Magazine and most recently The Los Angeles Times.

The Hundreds have their fingers in many pots, collaborating on design projects with major international brands such as Disney, Casio G-Shock, eS, Gravis, Medicom and also up and coming artists and designers namely Johnny Cupcakes, David Choe, Tofer, Robbie Conal, H2O, Kurupt, Craola, Avail and Usugrow.

According Shenassafar, the company raked in $4.8 million in sales in 2008–almost a 4x increase over the prior year– almost entirely through small boutiques, their webstore and the two retail outlets.  Shenassafar and Kim have decided to turn down major department stores’ requests for orders. Since the brand’s appeal is rooted in underground exclusivity, how well they manage growth against the risk of being perceived as mainstream or “sellouts” will be key to The Hundreds’ future success.

Another key part of The Hundreds secret sauce is the strength of their online presence. Their website, updated every day by the founders, is part blog, part streetwear lifestyle documentary wrapped around an online store.

The Hundreds remain true to its official statement in its website:

More than just an online magazine or clothing line, The Hundreds is a lifestyle project that remains personal and direct, reflective of the community and culture, and dedicated to its fanbase.

The Hundreds is Huge.

Here are some of SoJones-approved The Hundreds products:

the-hundreds-handsome-tee

Handsome Tee

the-hundreds-serge-jacket

Serge Jacket

the-hundreds-pointsettia-denim

Pointsettia Denim

the-hundreds-kiss-of-death-tank

Kiss of Death Tank

the-hundreds-adam-outline-new-era

Adam Outline New Era Caps

the-hundreds-jags-belt

Jags Belt

the-hundreds-johnson-mid-canvas-lavender

Johnson Mid Canvas Shoes in Lavender

For more of The Hundreds products, visit their website at www.thehundreds.com

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