Stüssy : History of the pioneer streetwear brand

May 03, 2021 6 min read

Stüssy : History of the pioneer streetwear brand

Stussy is an American brand specializing in fashion accessories, shoes and clothing. The brand was founded by Shawn Stussy in the early 1980s. The brand has been part of surfwear trends for the past 20 years with brands like Rip Curl and Billabong. The streetwear and hip hop scene has also embraced the Stussy brand for its unique sense of style.

Stussy Brand History 

The origins of the Stussy logo date back to the 1980s. During that time, the founder of the brand Shawn Stussy used to put his signatures on his boards by engraving his family name. Gradually he began to engrave the logo on the products he sold: shorts, T-shirts and caps. He got the signature from his uncle Jan Stussy.

Logo stussy

In 1984, Shawn Stussy teamed up with his friend Frank Sinatra (no relation to the singer) to start selling clothes. Starting in 1988, the company expanded to Europe and then opened a store in New York City. During the 1990s, other Stussy stores were opened all over the world and the brand made revenues of about 20 million dollars. In 1992, Stussy was available in all major urban centers in the United States and in other countries, it was available in high-end boutiques. In 1996, Frank Sinatra replaced founder Shawn as head of Stussy. The Sinatra family continues to own the brand to this day.

Shawn stussy

Shawn Stussy, founder of the brand, grew up on the West Coast and started making boards at a young age. By the age of 13, he was drawing and making boards. After graduation, Shawn commuted from the East Coast to Newport Beach. During the summer months, he was employed at Russel Surfboard where he worked in board building. During the winter, he worked as a ski instructor at Mammoth Mountain Valley.

In 1979, he decided to move to Laguna Beach. There he started selling T-shirts and boards. Later he had the idea to put his signature graphic on his creations. He then used black marker to put his signature on his products inspired by his grandfather's signature.

Start of the Stüssy brand

Shawn Stussy met Frank Sinatra in 1980. During this time, Shawn was actively looking for sponsors to help him develop his project more quickly. He met Frank Sinatra during his search for collaborators. Franck asked Shawn to join him in providing $5,000 in investment capital. The Stussy brand was born in 1984 under the name Stussy ING. In the 90s, Stussy collaborated with Jeff Jebbia. The latter is the creator of a large and famous skate brand (Supreme). Jeff Jebbia will accelerate the growth of Stussy with the opening of a store in New York, Los Angeles and Soho. In 1994, Jeff Jebbia leaves the Stussy firm to open his own brand which is the Supreme brand.

By the end of the 1990's, Shawn's brand was a success and was available throughout America. In 1996, Shawn decided to sell his shares in the company to his friend Frank who took over the reins.

Strong collaborations with other brands

The Stussy brand is now managed by the Sinatra family and has a great impact around the world. The brand has more than twenty stores in the world and is accompanied by strong collaborations.

The first collection appeared in 1997 with the collaboration of Casio. In the 2000s, the brand Stüssy collaborates with the brand Nike innovating emblematic models Nike. The collaboration with Nike continued with the release of other models. The Stüssy brand has succeeded over the years to assert its authority in the world of streetwear.

The success of the Stüssy brand

The success of the Stüssy brand

What made the success of the Stussy brand is its notoriety in the world of hip hop, high fashion and in the world of streetwear. Stussy is also well known in other cultures such as hippy and punk culture. Shawn said that from his personal point of view, he does not name his brand style and that he does it on purpose.

The Stüssy logo

During the 90's Shawn proceeded to adopt a new visual identity for the brand with the advice of Franck. To give the brand a dimension other than surfing, Shawn was inspired by the Chanel logo, which he restructured and personalized. The letters C are replaced by Shawn's initials, i.e. S. This is the birth of the famous intertwined S logo. In addition to this, Shawn used the typography of the Chanel perfumes to create a powerful brand image. The latter is accompanied by a logotype that was able to integrate perfectly with the visuals of the brand. This is called "Stüssy No. 4".

Logo stussy

This inspiration of the brand's logo reflects the firm's ambition to develop its brand image and have a better positioning.

The rallying power of the brand 

During the 90's, Shawn traveled the world to share his vision and brand with different countries. These trips allowed him to meet many influential people such as Nigo, Michael Kopelman, Hiroshi Fujiwara and many others. It is from this network that we see the birth of the formation called International Stussy Tribe (IST). This group has a common ideology of promoting and supporting art and creativity in all its forms.
Hiroshi Fujiwara

There are several celebrities (rappers, DJs) in this formation who form groups according to the cities. The main cities which are New York, Paris, Los Angeles, London and Tokyo are each represented by a group of artists.

At some point, the Stussy brand wanted to thank the members for their help and support. As a result, personalized varsity jackets were given to each member of the International Stussy tribe. These varsity jackets became famous and the brand created a collection for the general public.

the brand Stussy

This power of gathering and influence will accelerate the development of Stussy's brand reputation. All of the brand's consumers wanted to be part of this tribe (IST). Thus the brand constitutes a creative identity that brings together consumers from all over the world.

Stüssy and streetwear

The Stüssy brand has played a big role in the streetwear world and has been a big part of its influence around the world. Back when Shawn was designing boards and selling T-shirts, it was the beginning of streetwear. The International Stussy Tribe movement took streetwear to another level. This group has over time asserted its dominance in the streetwear world. During this period, the influential artists who were part of the brand's tribe, quickly influenced the younger generations. Indeed, the personalities who are part of the tribe of Stussy embody a new vision of fashion: combination of street and luxury. Little by little, the first brands dedicated to streetwear were created, such as Supreme.

The Stussy brand extends its influence in other universes: rap, skate, rock, punk, etc.. It collaborates with major American brands such as Nike and this strengthens its influence. Stussy has had a real impact on the streetwear culture.

The products of the brand

The Stussy brand offers a wide variety of clothing and fashion accessories. If you are interested in streetwear or you are a follower of this fashion, then the Stussy brand is made for you. There is something for every taste and every color.

Collections Stüssy 

The flagship products of the Stussy brand are the iconic clothing. We can mention the hooded sweatshirt marked by the Jamaican sound sytem lion, the logo t-shirt decorated with the signature of the designer Shawn. Also, for the men's category, you can find shirts with military cuts designed in ristop flannel. The collections of the brand are designed with quality materials. In fact, the cardigans, sweatshirts, printed T-shirts, jackets, jogging bottoms, etc. are made with the highest quality.

Branded accessories

As for the brand's fashion accessories, there are classic accessories that have been renovated and redesigned. We distinguish the baseball caps as well as other accessories designed in partnership with great designers. The various accessories of Stussy are declined and therefore available in several materials such as floral patterns, satin, flocking, etc..

The Stussy brand, still going strong

As successful as the Stussy brand has been, it remains an anti-fashion brand with a conservation of its colors, design and patterns. Stussy continues to influence many of the top streetwear brands as well as some luxury brands. The brand does countless collaborations with major brands with limited stock pieces. Consumers love rare things and Stussy understands this as well as other brands.

In 2010, the brand collaborated with A Bathing Ape which is a Japanese brand for a collection that was inspired by the camouflage patterns of the army. Jackets, pants, T-shirts and accessories are available in this collection.


the Stussy brand

The brand reaches out to all different audiences with its comfortable clothing that is appreciated by all. Nowadays, people prefer to go to work in comfortable, relaxed clothing rather than wearing a suit and tie.

One of Stussy's greatest strengths is its ability to always be on trend. His original touches make each of his pieces unique, original and reflective of the streetwear culture. The Hundreds' creator, Bobby Hundreds, referred to Stussy as the greatest brand of all time.

Are you a fan of the Stussy brand? Is streetwear your passion and style? Then you'll find something for you when you browse our streetwear collections.
Whether you're looking for a hoodie or a pair of cargo pants, our store will satisfy you in terms of streetwear. Let your style, your needs and your preferences run wild.
Our favorite of the moment is the Okashi Hoodie which is currently on sale, enjoy it!

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