WORDS BY JOSEPH FURNESS
It's as simple as this: streetwear wouldn’t exist without Stüssy. The OG casualwear label, founded in Laguna Beach by the insouciant Shawn Stussy, opened up a new wave of possibilities for fashion – and we’re eternally grateful.
So, to show our gratitude for the brand, we’re taking a look at its rich history, seemingly everlasting collaboration with Nike and the sizing and fit of its offerings.
The Stüssy story begins in California during the 1970s. Here, Shawn Stussy could typically be found shaping surfboards in his garage, embellishing them with outré designs and his quirky signature. As luck would have it, he was amid the golden age of surfing and down the road from some of the coolest pro-surfers. Needless to say, his novel merchandise went down a treat.
In the spring of 1980, Stussy took a leap of faith and opened a surfboard shop in his hometown of Laguna Beach. To accompany his punky surfboards and attract more customers, he began to sell Stüssy clothing adorned with his hand-drawn logo. And just like that, Stüssy was the IT brand for surfers, skateboarders and other free-spirited subcultures.
Swapping the beach for the ski slopes in winter, Shawn met accountant Frank Sinatra Jr. (no relation to the singer) at Cali’s Mammoth Mountain ski complex. Sinatra Jr spotted huge potential in Shawn’s already-booming store and decided to go into business with the young entrepreneur. In 1984, Stüssy Inc was officially formed.
As Stüssy rose to success, Shawn took the opportunity to see the world. His late 1980s travels catalysed the spread of Stüssy-fever, which led to the creation of the International Stüssy Tribe: an influential network of creatives across the globe. Plus, it encouraged Frank and Shawn to open Stüssy Chapter stores in international hotspots – including Tokyo, London and New York. (Fun Fact: James Jebbia helped Shawn Stussy set up his NYC store. A couple of years later, he founded streetwear mammoth Supreme.)
In the mid-1990s, Shawn decided to leave his position as president of Stüssy and sell his stake to Sinatra Jr. so that he may concentrate on a life in Hawaii with his son and wife. He did, however, agree to stay on the payroll as a consultant. Thankfully, Stüssy was able to maintain its appeal under the watch of Sinatra Jr. who decided to take more risks after Shawn’s departure. This included partnering with the likes of G-Shock, and the introduction of womenswear line Stüssy Sista.
Everything Else You Need To Know About Stüssy
What is Stüssy?
Stüssy is the original American streetwear label, established in 1980. The nonchalant label is heavily inspired by surfers, skateboarding culture and the hip-hop scene.
What does Stüssy mean?
As touched on above, Stüssy is named after its founder: Shawn Stussy. Interestingly, the designer’s uncle, Jan Frederick Stussy, was an LA-based abstract artist known by his surname. His signature partially-inspired the famed Stüssy logo.
Is Stüssy a skate brand?
Although Stüssy didn’t start out as a skate brand, it was adopted by the skater community in its early years. Now, the two are inseparable.
How do you pronounce Stüssy?
This is how to pronounce Stüssy: STOO-see. Yes, you've most likely been saying it wrong this whole time.
Does Stüssy fit true to size?
No matter if you’re looking to purchase a Stüssy hoodie, Stüssy jacket or something else from the brand, you can find out its sizing below.
Stüssy Sizing and Fit
Stüssy T-Shirts and Shirts
In terms of their fresh-out-of-the-box fit, Stüssy shirts and T-shirts are roomy, wide and true to size. However, it’s been said that Stüssy tops shrink after a wash or two, which prompts returning customers to opt for a size above their regular size. We all know there’s no better teacher than experience!
Stüssy Hoodies and Sweatshirts
Here's the thing with Stüssy hoodies and sweatshirts – if you opt for your true size, you won’t be disappointed. However, if you have a penchant for warm, cosy hoodies – the type you can cosy up in, watching Disney+ on the sofa at home – you may want to consider sizing up. We know what we would rather...
Stüssy Jackets and Coats
Stüssy jackets and coats are made to fit you in your usual size; but that doesn’t stop a handful of customers choosing a size up for a more relaxed, oversized look. We recommend you consider the material and structure of the jacket to help you make an informed decision.
As we all know, It’s no easy feat purchasing a pair of trousers online – they all fit so differently! Fortunately, we’re here to reassure you that Stüssy trousers fit true to size. Naturally, if you expect your waist size to fluctuate, you may want to consider an alternative size – or perhaps a belt.
Do I have a big head?, is the question one must ask themselves when purchasing a new hat. Of course, one can look to their pre-existing collection to help determine what size they should go for. And when purchasing a Stüssy hat – no matter if that’s a Cuff Beanie, Low Pro Cap or other – we suggest you do just that. In short: they fit true to size.
In 2000, Michael Kopelman – a member of Stüssy’s UK division – worked with Nike on a Huarache LE: the must-have sneaker of the time. The extremely-limited kicks were exclusively available at Stüssy’s London store and sold out in minutes. From here on, everyone wanted a pair of Stüssy x Nike sneakers; accordingly, the two brands have continued to join forces. Here are four of our favourite models to come from the team-up so far.
Stüssy x Nike Air Max 95
The classic Nike Air Max 95 is set to make a bigger buzz than usual this year. Naturally, we’re once again eyeing-up Stüssy’s streamlined take on the mid-1990s model: the most subtle release from the collaboration to date.
Stüssy x Nike Stüssy x Nike All Court Mid “XXX”
Before you ask, no – this is not a Nike Mid Blazer.
First released in 2010, the Stüssy x Nike All Court Mid sneaker is defined by its panelled leather upper, coloured eyelets, Stüssy-branded outsole and snakeskin swoosh and heel tab. Personally, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
No one saw a Stüssy x Nike Air Zoom Spiridon Cage 2 coming, which is precisely why it proved such a hit. The once-retired silhouette has been enjoying a new lease of life since Stüssy reintroduced the model – suddenly sought-after by hypebeasts, tastemakers and beatnik subcultures alike. Here’s hoping more colourways are coming our way in the near future.
Stüssy x Nike Air Force 1 Low
The latest Nike model to be Stüssy-fied is the iconic Nike Air Force 1 Low. Released in two versatile colourways – Fossil and Black – the embroidered kicks are created using a hemp material that gives it its dreamy bohemian aesthetic. Obviously, we’re after both.