The story of The Hundreds and the precepts that made it an iconic streetwear brand by Bobby Hundreds himself
Streetwear occupies that rarefied space where genuine "cool" coexists with big business; where a star designer might work concurrently with Nike, a tattoo artist, Louis Vuitton, and a skateboard company. It’s the ubiquitous style of dress comprising hoodies, sneakers, and T-shirts. In the beginning, a few brands defined this style; fewer still survived as streetwear went mainstream. They are the OGs, the “heritage brands.” The Hundreds is one of those persevering companies, and Bobby Hundreds is at the center of it all.
The creative force behind the brand, Bobby Kim, a.k.a. Bobby Hundreds, has emerged as a prominent face and voice in streetwear. In telling the story of his formative years, he reminds us that The Hundreds was started by outsiders; and this is truly the story of streetwear culture.
In This Is Not a T-Shirt, Bobby Hundreds cements his spot as a champion of an industry he helped create and tells the story of The Hundreds—with anecdotes ranging from his Southern California, punk-DIY-tinged youth to the brand’s explosive success. Both an inspiring memoir and an expert assessment of the history and future of streetwear, this is the tale of Bobby’s commitment to his creative vision and to building a real community.
Hundreds (aka Bobby Kim), the cofounder of streetwear brand The Hundreds, serves up brand advice and life lessons in this savvy and sincere memoir. Kim's rebellious spirit began early (kindergarten fights were recognized as a sign of boredom); discovering skate culture and hardcore punk in his teens in Glendale, Calif., led him into streetwear and shaped his idea of community. His company's motto is "people over product," and he writes, "We'll sell you a t-shirt, but not before we tell you about the artist behind it and his or her message." He recounts growing from a hotheaded 20-something to a family man able to make sound business decisions: early on, he deprioritized a wildly popular line of clothes in favor of passion projects, but eventually he realized that "reflective corduroy pants gingham cargo shorts" weren't going to sustain a business and retooled accordingly. Hardcore fans of The Hundreds and those starting out in the streetwear industry will delight in behind-the-scenes intel (Kim notes that there's a craze for allover print every few years, and describes the less-expensive method he discovered for creating it). But what will most impress the average reader is the zeal with which Kim writes about both his product and his people. That makes the book less a marketing tool than a heartfelt statement.