Stüssy (/ˈstsi/ STOO-see) is an American clothing brand and private company started some time 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 skateboard and hip-hop scenes.[1]

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


The company founder, Shawn Stussy (born 1954), was a Californian manufacturer of surfboards.[2][3][4] The logo which has defined the brand started in the early 1980s after he began scrawling his surname on his handcrafted surfboards with a broad tipped marker.[5] He began using the logo on T-shirts, shorts and caps that he 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" 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 to Europe by 1988 and later opened a boutique store in SoHo, New York. The brand continued to open successful locations throughout the 1990s.[5] It was reported that revenues reached $17 million in 1991[7] and $20 million in 1992.[12] By 1992, the brand was sold throughout the United States at speciality boutiques and department stores alongside other high-priced "California lifestyle" clothing. Outside of the country, the brand was found in speciality shops alongside clothing from high-end international designers.[13]

In 1996, Stussy resigned as president of the company[14] and Sinatra bought his share of the company holdings. The Sinatra family still owns the brand.[15] 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 and skater/surfer scenes. The brand was also embraced by punk subculture and other street subcultures.[6] In a 1992 interview Stussy said: "Everybody calls it surf wear, or urban streetwear, 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 extremely extensive line which was split into two "sets." The first one was published on April 27 which featured nine T-shirt designs depicting several of Marvel's most popular superheroes combined with Stüssy's renowned graphic language.[16]

In 2020, Matthew M Williams took to Instagram to announce a fresh Stüssy partnership.[17] Williams grew up in California. During his decade-long career he has collaborated with top artists from the fields of film, music, photography, and design, creating a sophisticated visual environment focused on artistic repurpose, creativity, and craftsmanship.[18]


  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. 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. ^ Lee, Don (10 January 1996). "Stussy Inc. President to Step Down". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  15. ^ "How Stüssy Became a $50 Million Global Streetwear Brand Without Selling Out". The Business of Fashion. 2015-06-03. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
  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.
  18. ^ "1017 A L Y X 92M". alyxstudio. Retrieved 3 June 2020.

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