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Stüssy, Inc
Company typePrivate
Founded1980s in Laguna Beach, California, U.S.
FounderShawn Stussy
Number of locations
25 Stüssy-branded stores, and 4 third-party retail stores (2022)
Area served
North America, Asia, Europe, Australasia
OwnerThe Sinatra Family

Stüssy (/ˈstsi/) is an American privately held fashion house founded in the early 1980s by Shawn Stussy. It benefited from the surfwear trend originating in Orange County, California, but was later adopted by the skateboard and hip hop scenes.


Stüssy store in Kuala Lumpur

Shawn Stussy (born 1954) was a Californian manufacturer of surfboards.[1] The logo defining the brand started in the early 1980s, when he scrawled his surname on handcrafted boards with a simple broad-tipped marker.[2][3] He then used the logo on T-shirts, shorts and caps that he sold out of his car around Laguna Beach, California.[4][5] The signature was derived from that of his uncle, Jan Stussy.[6] A stylized "S" popular in the 1990s, called the "Cool S", is often mistakenly attributed to the brand.[7]

In 1984, Stussy and his friend, Frank Sinatra Jr. (no relation to the singer),[8] partnered to sell the apparel.[9] The company expanded into Europe by 1988, opened a boutique in SoHo, New York, and unveiled multiple other locations throughout the 1990s.[3] Revenues reached $17 million in 1991,[5] and $20 million in 1992.[10][11] Stüssy was sold throughout the United States at both specialty and department stores alongside other high-priced "California lifestyle" clothing during this era. Outside of the US, the brand was available in specialty shops alongside high-end international design clothing.[12]

In 1996, Stussy resigned as president and Sinatra bought his share of the company holdings, with the Sinatra family still owning the brand in 2017.[13][8] According to the company's website, the apparel is available in branded stores and other retailers in Europe, Asia, the United States, Canada and Australia.


The early success of the brand has been attributed to its popularity in the hip hop and skateboarding/surfer scenes. The brand was also embraced by the punk and other subcultures.[4] In a 1992 interview Stussy said, "Everybody calls it surf wear, or urban streetwear, punk, or surf street... I don't name it, and I don't name it on purpose."[10]


In 2011, Marvel paired up with Stüssy for an extensive line split between two series. The first, released on 27 April, had nine T-shirt designs depicting several of the comics' most popular superheroes combined with Stüssy's graphic language. The second was made up of designs from nine guest artists who interpreted their favorite characters from the Marvel Universe.[14] In 2019, Stüssy partnered up with fashion designer Matthew Williams to release two products: a garment dyed tee made of recycled organic cotton and a pair of co-branded leather hiking boots. The next year, Williams announced a new partnership with the brand for denim products and in late 2020, the brand partnered with CDG to create a capsule collection in commemoration of Stüssy's 40th anniversary.[15]


  1. ^ "How Shawn Stussy Created a Clothing Genre That Didn't Exist Before". Highsnobiety. 25 August 2017.
    - Chan-Baker, Lara (24 April 2013). "Interview: Shawn Stussy". Acclaim.
    - Connelly, Laylan (19 June 2016). "Surfers' Hall of Fame announces 2016 class". The Orange County Register. p. Local 4.
  2. ^ Abdihakim, Mohamed (5 April 2018). "All You Need to Know About Stussy History". Cult Edge. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  3. ^ a b Breinholt, Jacob (5 August 2009). "Throwback Comeback: Stussy". SoJones. Retrieved 12 August 2009.
  4. ^ a b Sande, Steve (6 November 2005). "Street Threads". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 12 August 2009.
  5. ^ a b "Style: Where Surf Meets Rap". Time. 11 February 1991. Archived from the original on 4 July 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
  6. ^ Paglia, Donald E. (Summer 2012). "Jan Stussy and the Mendocino Art Center" (PDF). Mendocino Art Magazine. p. 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
  7. ^ Morgans, Julian (27 July 2016). "What the Hell Was That 'S' Thing Everyone Drew in School?". Vice. Retrieved 21 March 2019. No, this is not an original Stussy Logo
  8. ^ a b Lee, Don (10 January 1996). "Stussy Inc. President to Step Down". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  9. ^ DeLeon, Jian (18 December 2012). "The Oral History of Stüssy". Complex. Complex Media. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  10. ^ a b Hochswender, Woody (14 June 1992). "Signals; Mean". The New York Times. p. 8 of section 9. Retrieved 12 August 2009.
  11. ^ "STUSSY: SU HISTORIA. 1984-ACTUALIDAD" (in Spanish). EOB. 12 May 2021. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  12. ^ Apodaca, Rose (12 July 1992). "Sportswear Designer Stussy Is Prospering Partly by Limiting His Outlets Apparel". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 September 2009.[dead link]
  13. ^ DeLeon, Jian (3 June 2015). "How Stüssy Became a $50 Million Global Streetwear Brand Without Selling Out". The Business of Fashion. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  14. ^ Gorsler, Fabian (7 March 2018). "Here's a History of Marvel's Streetwear Collaborations". Highsnobiety. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Matthew M Williams Previews New Stüssy Denim Collaboration". HYPEBEAST. 24 May 2020. Retrieved 12 August 2022.