The brand might be enjoying its 35th anniversary this year. and has released some standout collections alongside forces like Dover Street Market and Kiko Kostadinov, but that hasn't saved Stüssy from a barrage of abuse from its founder and former owner, Shawn Stussy, over the weekend.
Despite having sold his stake in the company in 1996 to partner Frank Sinatra Jr. in order to spend more time with his family, the stylistic godfather and namesake of the brand opened up on Instagram this weekend to voice his displeasure at them re-releasing his classic designs from the ’80s.
Although the message is not directed specifically at Shawn's former business partner, it's plain to see that he's not too fond of the Stüssy management making money out of designs he first made decades ago. In a further comment about the photographs used in his original Stüssy designs, he goes on to write:
"these people all did these things for me as favors at the time out of friendship... the freshness date is way past expiration on these things I did so long ago..."
Having resigned all creative control of the company (and presumably its creative assets), there probably isn't much Shawn can do about the company using designs such as this in future. As a business with a $50 million dollar annual turnover, Stüssy is clearly having no trouble retaining the air of cool that made it such a success all those years ago – but how much of that is down to its current work and how much is feeding of its heritage?
Let us know what you think about the old vs. new Stüssy debate in the comments below.