Photo: instagram / @stussy

CULT FIGURE | How a west coast surfboard shaper accidentally created one of the world’s most iconic streetwear brands.

The story of how a West Coast board shaper accidentally created one of streetwear’s biggest brands ‘Stüssy‘ is the stuff of legend. Turning up at a surfboard trade fair back in 1980 with a couple of boards and tees scrawled with his name proved a pivotal moment for Shawn Stüssy, whose one-man brand – built around that now iconic logo – was quickly seized upon by everyone from the global surf scene to hip-hop royalty.

Stüssy’s influence on fashion and streetwear culture is the focus of an amazing recent feature by High Snobiety. Spanning his early years as a skilled board shaper in California, charting the growth of the brand he started as it took off across the US and becoming renowned for its blend of cultural reference points including punk, art and music. Remaining an enigma, the elusive Stüssy switched direction in 1996, leaving the global, multi-million dollar business he built and heading to Hawaii to spend more time with his family. Yet the blockbuster brand he created back in the 1980’s still remains massively iconic today.