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Stüssy, Inc
Industry Retail
Founded 1980s in Laguna Beach, California, U.S.
Founder Shawn Stussy
Headquarters Irvine, California, U.S.
Number of locations
60+ stores (2008)
Area served
North America, Asia, Europe, Australia
Products Apparel
Owner The Sinatra Family

Stüssy /ˈstsi/ (pronounced: stoo-see) is a clothing brand and private company started in the early 1980s by Shawn Stussy. The company is one of many that benefited from the surfwear trend originating in Orange County, California, but it has largely been adopted by the streetwear and hip-hop scenes.[1]


The logo which has defined the brand started in the early 1980s after Shawn Stussy began scrawling his surname on his handcrafted surfboards with a broad tipped marker.[2] He began using the logo on T-shirts, shorts and caps that he sold out of his car around Laguna Beach, California.[3][4] The signature was derived from that of his uncle, Jan Stussy.[5]

In 1984, Stussy and his friend, Frank Sinatra Jr. (no relation to the singer),[6] partnered to sell the apparel.[7] The company expanded to Europe by 1988 and later opened a boutique store in SoHo, New York. The brand continued to open successful locations throughout the 1990s.[2] It was reported that revenues reached $17 million in 1991[4] and $20 million in 1992.[8] By 1992, the brand was sold throughout the United States at specialty boutiques and department stores alongside other high-priced "California lifestyle" clothing. Outside of the country, the brand was found in specialty shops alongside clothing from high-end international designers.[9]

In 1996, Stussy resigned as president of the company[10] and Sinatra bought his share of the company holdings. The Sinatra family still own the brand.[11] According to the company's website, the apparel is available in company 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 DJ and Skater / Surfer scenes. The brand was also embraced by Punks and other street subcultures.[3] In a 1992 interview Stussy said: "Everybody calls it surf wear, or urban street wear, or surf street... I don't name it, and I don't name it on purpose."[8]


  1. ^ Jennifer, Bellantonio (2003-10-06). "Apparel: Fashion designers surf big wave". Orange County Business Journal. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  2. ^ a b Breinholt, Jacob (2009-08-05). "Throwback Comeback: Stussy". SoJones. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  3. ^ a b Sande, Steve (2005-11-06). "Street Threads". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  4. ^ a b "Style: Where Surf Meets Rap". Time. 1991-02-11. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  5. ^ Paglia, Donald E. (Summer 2012). "Jan Stussy and the Mendocino Art Center" (PDF). Mendocino Art Magazine. p. 8. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  6. ^ Lee, Don (10 January 1996). "Stussy Inc. President to Step Down". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  7. ^ Jian DeLeon (18 December 2012). "The Oral History of Stüssy". Complex Style. Complex Media. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Hochswender, Woody (1992-06-14). "Signals; Mean". The New York Times. p. 8 of section 9. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  9. ^ Apodaca, Rose (1992-07-12). "Sportswear Designer Stussy Is Prospering Partly by Limiting His Outlets Apparel". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  10. ^ Lee, Don (10 January 1996). "Stussy Inc. President to Step Down". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  11. ^ "How Stüssy Became a $50 Million Global Streetwear Brand Without Selling Out". The Business of Fashion. 2015-06-03. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 

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