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Stüssy, Inc
Founded1980s in Laguna Beach, California, U.S.
FounderShawn Stussy
Number of locations
60+ stores (2008)
Area served
North America, Asia, Europe, Australia
OwnerThe Sinatra Family

Stüssy (/ˈstsi/ STOO-see) is an American clothing brand and private company started in the early 1980s by Shawn Stussy. It benefited from the surfwear trend originating in Orange County, California, but has since been adopted by the skateboard and hip-hop scenes.[1]


Shawn Stussy (born 1954), was a Californian manufacturer of surfboards.[2][3][4] The logo defining the brand started in the early 1980s, when he scrawled his surname on handcrafted boards with a simple broad tipped marker.[5] He then used the logo on T-shirts, shorts, and caps sold out of his car around Laguna Beach, California.[6][7] The signature was derived from that of his uncle, Jan Stussy.[8] A stylized "S" popular in the 90s, called the "Cool S", is often mistakenly attributed to the brand.[9]

In 1984, Stussy and his friend, Frank Sinatra Jr. (no relation to the singer),[10] partnered to sell the apparel.[11] The company expanded in to Europe by 1988, opened a boutique in SoHo, New York, and then unveiled multiple other locations throughout the 1990s.[5] Revenues reached $17 million in 1991,[7] and $20 million in 1992.[12] 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.[13]

In 1996, Stussy resigned as president and Sinatra bought out his share of the company holdings, with the Sinatra family still owning the brand as of 2017.[14][15] 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 skater/surfer scenes. The brand was also embraced by the punk and other subcultures.[6] 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."[12]


In 2011, Marvel paired up with Stüssy for an extensive line split between two "sets." The first, published on April 27, featured nine T-shirt designs depicting several of the comic's most popular superheroes combined with Stüssy's graphic language.[16] In 2020, Matthew M. Williams announced a new partnership with the brand for denim products.[17]


  1. ^ Jennifer, Bellantonio (2003-10-06). "Apparel: Fashion designers surf big wave". Orange County Business Journal. Retrieved 2009-09-10.
  2. ^ "Shawn Stussy Biography". Highsnobiety. 25 August 2017.
  3. ^ Lara Chan-Baker Interview: Shawn Stussy Acclaim magazine
  4. ^ Connelly, Laylan (June 19, 2016). "Surfers' Hall of Fame announces 2016 class". The Orange County Register. p. Local 4.
  5. ^ a b Breinholt, Jacob (2009-08-05). "Throwback Comeback: Stussy". SoJones. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  6. ^ a b Sande, Steve (2005-11-06). "Street Threads". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  7. ^ a b "Style: Where Surf Meets Rap". Time. 1991-02-11. Archived from the original on July 4, 2012. Retrieved 2009-09-10.
  8. ^ Paglia, Donald E. (Summer 2012). "Jan Stussy and the Mendocino Art Center" (PDF). Mendocino Art Magazine. p. 8. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  9. ^ Morgans, Julian (23 July 2016). "That 'S' Thing Everyone Drew in School, WHAT IS IT?". Vice. Retrieved 21 March 2019. No, this is not an original Stussy Logo
  10. ^ Lee, Don (10 January 1996). "Stussy Inc. President to Step Down". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  11. ^ Jian DeLeon (18 December 2012). "The Oral History of Stüssy". Complex Style. Complex Media. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  12. ^ a b Hochswender, Woody (1992-06-14). "Signals; Mean". The New York Times. p. 8 of section 9. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  13. ^ Apodaca, Rose (1992-07-12). "Sportswear Designer Stussy Is Prospering Partly by Limiting His Outlets Apparel". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-09-10.
  14. ^ "How Stüssy Became a $50 Million Global Streetwear Brand Without Selling Out". The Business of Fashion. 2015-06-03. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
  15. ^ Lee, Don (10 January 1996). "Stussy Inc. President to Step Down". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  16. ^ Gorsler, Fabian (7 March 2018). "Here's a History of Marvel's Streetwear Collaborations". highsnobiety. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  17. ^ Estiller, Keith (24 May 2020). "Matthew M Williams Previews New Stüssy Denim Collaboration". Hypebeast. Retrieved 3 June 2020.

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