In the late ’80s and early ’90s, a brand was born from the Southern California surf scene and swept through the clothing landscape to redefine the look and ideology of casualwear. That brand was Stüssy, a label that grew organically from youth movements and inadvertently revolutionized the clothing business.
The brand grew during a time when epochal shifts that now frame contemporary popular culture were taking place. In the music scene the late ’70s gave us punk, while the early ’80s brought us a new DIY type of music called rap. Punk broke creative and aesthetic barriers and taught us that anyone could have a band. Rap pushed social boundaries and explored the ideas of remixing and sampling. These new ideas and territories created a new modern platform for fashion and cultural expression. The designs and overall aesthetic touched on references from a range of underground subcultures that resonated with Stüssy. This approach appealed to a worldwide network of creative youth who shared a common interest in surf-culture, skating and music. Limited distribution fuelled the desire internationally, and those who wanted the gear found it and felt a part of something bigger in the process.