Stussy, or Stüssy, 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 has largely been adopted by the streetwear and hip-hop scene.
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. He began using the logo on T-shirts, shorts, and caps that he sold out of his car around Laguna Beach, CA.
In 1984, Stussy and his friend, Frank Sinatra Jr., partnered to sell the apparel. 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. By 1992, the brand was sold throughout the United States 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.
In 1996, Stussy resigned as president of the company and Sinatra bought his share of the company holdings. According to the company’s website, the brand 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 DJ scenes. The brand was also embraced by skaters, punks, hipsters, and other street subcultures. 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."