Australia’s Empire Ave recently had the chance to sit down with Shawn Stussy while he was visiting Down Under. In the first of a two-part series, Shawn Stussy touched on several topics including shaping surf boards, the start of Stussy as a brand, and the iconic Stussy script. An interesting interview from one of the founding fathers of streetwear, this is definitely worth a quick read. Below are a few choice excerpts from the interview. Check out the full piece over at Empire Ave.
What was it that made you pick up the planer for the first time you did it?
I don’t know… I shaped my first board in between seventh and eighth grade. I went to high school in ’68. I’m living in Huntington Beach, Surf City, all the shops were there at that time. There was one summer, three months, where you had longboards and shortboards in the shops at the same time. Then we went back to school and you never saw a longboard again for years, ‘til Herbie in the mid ‘80s came out, with that square nosed side slipping thing, cleaning out the crowd at Lowers, you know. So there was no collectability culture, there was no old board collectors then at all, the old boards worth heaps today were put up under the house. It was Barry Kanaiaupuni with red rocket, Lopez, Brewer, and Reno that mattered now. The short board era had begun. no looking back, and no tankers allowed. If you lived somewhere else, this info took a bit more time to travel, you know what i mean?
Your scripting is probably one of the most famous handwriting scripts getting around. Is it something that it just came to you, or was it something you’ve had to work on?
Well, the beginning of the logo part was 1979. I always worked through the ‘70s for another shop, Russell Surfboards in Newport Beach called The Brotherhood. I was just a shaper. The logos were very ‘70s, the newer ones were Country Surfboards and Lightning Bolt. Before that was all of the ‘60s logos, were ovals and Dewey Weber and Greg Noll style graphics…
Well it’s ’78, ’79, it’s Sex Pistols and The Clash. It hits America.