It says a lot about Stüssy that the Californian streetwear brand, founded by Shawn Stüssy more than 40 years ago, has managed to maintain a sense of timeless cool despite being a brand thoroughly indoctrinated into the world of accessible fashion. To our knowledge, it's basically the only brand you're as likely to find alongside brands like Supreme and Palace in an exclusive skate store as you are on the sale rack at General Pants Co., which speaks to its universal appeal as a way for cool kids to stay on top of trends.
It's largely been this way ever since Stüssy first came onto the scene in 1996, helping to pioneer the skate-inspired type of streetwear that has slowly morphed into the unofficial uniform of today's youth. And while Shawn himself has long retired from running the brand, the brand he created has cemented him as a bona fide fashion icon — something that Dior's Kim Jones has chosen to celebrate in an upcoming collab.
The partnership will spawn a line of clothes to drop as part of Dior's pre-fall 2020 collection, which Stussy also designed some exclusive imagery for.
"It’s been interesting for me to see the full circle and to watch the last 20 years as an outsider," said Stussy. "I’ve said ‘no’ to a lot of things, and I was just waiting for the right one, and this just feels really good in that respect. I almost feel like I’m handing the wand off to the young crowd, Kim being the team captain, and he’s a lover of the game, he’s knowledgeable, he’s a student of our culture. I just really get the right feel."
The collab is yet another step in Kim Jones' journey in repainting Dior as a more youth-focused fashion imprint. He's noticeably revamped the brand as a desirable destination for high-end streetwear, joining the likes of Virgil Abloh in charting high fashion's new course towards a world where street-ready clothing is king. He's also helped fuse the brand's image with a new wave of aesthetics, using collaborations with artists like KAWS and Daniel Arsham to do so.
"I used to wear it head-to-toe all the time in my teens. It was something I was really, really, really obsessed by. I’ve [still] got boxes of it," Jones told WWD. "For me to work with someone like Shawn is a real honour. He’s an artist, that’s the thing. If you can work that line like that, and it’s that memorable, it’s like an artist. That’s why I wanted to do it with him: he’s made an iconic image with his hand," said Jones, referring to Stüssy's iconic scrawled logo.
The collaboration was initially unveiled at Dior's pre-fall show last December in Miami, and now thanks to Maison Dior's chief footwear designer Thibo, a more detailed look at the collaboration's signature piece, a rework of Dior's B23 sneaker, has been unveiled.
The iconic Stussy typeface was used to reimagine Dior's logo for the capsule, which is printed across the side of the shoe alongside other drawings in the 'wave print' style that's adorned so many Stussy pieces in the past. This is contrasted with Dior's classic logo on the inner-half of each sneaker, while a patch combining Dior's bumblebee iconography with a skull and crossbones provides additional detailing.
The Stussy x Dior B23 sneakers will likely drop alongside the rest of Dior's FW20 collection later this year.