Throwback Comeback: Stussy

history_7_lgIn the late 1980’s and early to mid 1990’s street wear was saturated with the ubiquitous signature of Shawn Stussy. Stussy grew up in the surf scene of southern California in the 1960’s. He was an avid surfer from a young age, and landed his first job shaping surfboards at the age of 15. The shaper job was the vehicle that launched the public dissemination of the Stussy signature, that would later become the Stussy brand’s logo.

At the age of 24, Shawn Stussy started his own surfboard company. With a broad tipped marker, he would scrawl his last name, on each of the boards that he shaped. As an attempt to promote the surfboards, Stussy had his signature silk screened on to some t-shirts. The shirts became the accidental beginning of Stussy’s street wear company.

In 1984, an old friends of Stussy, Frank Sinatra Jr. (no relation to the singer), decided to become Stussy’s partner in Stussy’s apparel venture. Sinatra brought business smarts to the table.

By 1988, Stussy was in Europe and soon after the Stussy brand began to be embraced by the hip-hop crowd. Stussy hats became hot commodities. Stussy was also hired by various artists to pen their album cover info, in his unique handwriting font.


In the 1990’s Stussy followed in the footsteps of other major label designers and opened a boutique store in SoHo New York. The location was extremely successful from the outset. The brand later opened several other boutiques, in other parts of the country and world.

In 1996 Shawn Stussy resigned as president of the company and Sinatra bought out Stussy’s share of the company holdings. This move brought about a lot of speculation regarding the direction that the brand would take. Although Stussy has still been around for the last decade, their prominence in the hip-hop and streetwear scene has definitely not been able to match the levels that it reached back in the 90’s.

But Stussy is coming back to their roots in a major way this fall with their “1980” Hats, and throwback printed t-shirts.

stussy-stock-city-tshirt-2The simple Logo on the “stock city” tees above is very reminiscent of the original line that Stussy put out 20 years ago.

The collegiate style block lettered hats below promise to be a back to school hit, this fall, as well.


The brand has definitely been generating a lot of buzz centered around their fall line and the throwback styling. Even Kanye has mentioned the label on his blog.

Part of the hype this fall could also be attributable to the fact that Shawn Stussy is also starting a new brand, called S/double. Juxtapoz Magazine has some great teaser photos here, from their recent interview with Shawn Stussy.

Whatever the reason, Stussy is putting its best foot forward at the local level as well. It is rumored that Stussy will be taking over the retail location of the famous Union NYC store, that recently closed on Spring Street. It is said that the forthcoming Stussy store plans to continue to carry the OriginalFake brand.

4 thoughts on “Throwback Comeback: Stussy”

  1. It is nice to see when a company does the throwback and shows everybody where it all started and be able to fall back in love with there old faves

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