Empire Ave: A chat with Shawn Stussy – Pt II


This is one of those glad you read it pieces and seeing that it’s with Shawn Stussy, the surf/street wear godfather, I’m going to take a leap of faith and assume you know who this G.O.A.T. legend is. In this second part of Empire Ave’s recent interview with Shawn Stussy, we get to know his thoughts on various subject matters within the industry and what he’s been up to. You can read the interview in its entirety here.


Empire: This is one thing I actually was really interested on getting your opinion. You’ve shaped, you’ve surfed, you’ve started a brand. It doesn’t get much more core or authentic for a surf brand. These days there’s a lot of new fashion/surf brands that are popping up who aren’t really contributing much beyond fabric back into surfing, yet ride its coattails and try to call out the core brands. It’s like the whole generational thing of: ‘oh your dad wears that, they’re not cool’ or this and that. Most of these new brands don’t really put back into the market or the industry so to speak. What’s your take on these new brands that are popping up in surf these days, the Warriors of Radness styled brands, the Saturdays, and Hollister…

Shawn Stussy: Yeah Hollister is owned by Abercrombie & Fitch I think, so that’s just a corporate thing. Saturdays, big respect. I mean who in the last two to three years in our industry has come up with something new that’s successful? So you have to give them an A for that. Warriors of Radness is just like a Jimmy’Z regurgitated thing. So that I don’t buy into, that’s just damn silly. That’s just a joke and I mean that respectfully because I think it is Rick Klotz and he did Freshjive in my era. But that’s just ridiculous. I hated it then. I mean I didn’t wear ‘80s stuff then, let alone wear it now.

Now Saturdays on the other hand, I totally get it. I have respect for it, but it’s not me at all. It’s like J.Crew surfers, you know what I mean? So I gingerly say that because I don’t want to come off as disrespectful because hey, they’re kicking it. They’re in Japan. I give them credit.

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