Vice just published our co-founder Bobby Hundreds’ essay on how he fell in love with Streetwear. As a multi-talented designer, writer, photographer, and illustrator, Bobby recently premiered a documentary called Built to Fail: A Streetwear Story at the Los Angeles Film Festival, centered around the stories, street culture, graffiti, music, attitude, and hustle that led to the formation of the OG brands on Streetwear’s storied timeline, from Vision to Stussy, from Freshjive to Fuct.
“All of my streetwear clothes bore a story. They felt special.” –@BobbyHundreds
Bobby recounts the first time he saw a classmate rocking a Stussy logo tee in the 5th grade, during an era when MTV “rarely showed anyone of color” and wearing a T-shirt said something beyond style—it was a loud statement of identification. “That T-shirt—and plenty streetwear tees before and after it—had nothing to do with fashion. But it had everything to do with attitude.”
Bobby recounts how “artist-led” indie labels printing on blank tees flourished in the ’90s, leading to West Coast brands like X-Large, Fuct, and Freshjive, to East Coast brands like Pervert, PNB, and 555 Soul. Eventually this led to Japan’s Streetwear explosion, with Nigo’s A Bathing Ape and the emergence of flagship retail shops that resembled galleries with graphic T-shirts instead of prints. Eventually, a new wave rose: Supreme, Alife, SSUR and the like.
“Today, mainstream fashion has absorbed so much of streetwear’s cultural roots and churned it into a processed, profitable trend.” –@BobbyHundreds
Read about why Streetwear is more than just flipping Supreme and Yeezys in Bobby’s essay, and why he made Built to Fail on Vice now: