Bobby Hundreds is one of streetwear’s pioneers. As the co-founder of the infamous brand ‘The Hundreds,’ Bobby has continued to make a name for himself in not only the streetwear industry but in many other industries such as writing, fashion, mentorship, and much more. His latest project This Is Not a T-Shirt, is a book about a brand, streetwear culture, and community. He has also recently teamed up with Puma to rerelease the iconic Clyde silhouette. In honor of his recent book tour and Puma collaboration, we were able to ask Bobby about the streetwear culture, writing and much more. Check out the interview below!
What inspired you to start your company?
What inspired me to start my company? I believe it’s the same thing that I think most entrepreneurs and innovators are inspired by...we have something to say. We feel like our voice isn’t necessarily being represented in the culture or in the marketplace in the world and we just want to be seen and heard.
How do you think streetwear culture has changed since you began?
Oh my god, it’s changed so much it’s become mainstream. The best way I can describe it is when we started, people who gravitated towards streetwear or wanted to wear it wanted it because no one else wore it. Now people wear streetwear because everyone else is wearing it. So that’s the difference.
Do you think it can go back to the way it was?
I don’t think it can ever go back. I think the cat is out of the bag. People have now discovered that the streetwear world exists. Streetwear is just always going to be mainstream and a prevalent culture. But I think streetwear is also more or less an attitude. That attitude of that underdog spirit, being independent , wanting to be unique and wearing stuff that nobody else has...I don’t think that ever goes away.
Streetwear is a personality. It’s applied to so many different things now. Like someone can point to dress and go ‘Oh that’s streetwear’. Like who am I to say what streetwear is and what it is not, you know. It you think about it, it doesn’t just come down to the clothes. What makes a t-shirt from the gas station not streetwear. So now it’s all down to attitude and what you want in life.
What’s one lesson you learned in your process that you would pass on to someone else?
So much of it comes down to timing. Especially with the younger people today, they want everything so quickly. But it’s really not about when it happens, more about if it happens. Some projects that I work on may take fifteen years and in my book they take up just as much valuable space that a project that took fifteen minutes does. Those projects are both equally valuable to my entire story and both make it into my book but just because one took a really long time it doesn’t mean that it is any less or more valuable.
Time is relative. Time is actually a concept and construct anyways so if things aren’t happening for you within two years/three years and it takes you forty years to develop a brand that you think can be successful, it’s just as meaningful as a brand that pops off in like four months. So you have to start looking at it from a different perspective. Every project and every brand has their own timeline.
What are your future plans for your brand or yourself?
It’s already happening now. I want to write more books. I want to adapt screen plays and make television shows and I want to help other people with their brands. Which is also a part of what I am doing. I want to help other brands succeed. I feel a sense of ownership, whether it’s literal or not, in all streetwear. When I see the next generation of streetwear coming up I feel like I played a part in that. Not just because I was apart of this earlier generation but I think that streetwear is in this very communal place where we all feel like we had a part in a brand doing well. So when Supreme is big , it’s like yea I bought a piece from them, I was there to tell people the message behind what Supreme does.
We are all apart of all these things, I just want to do more of that. Support other people's dreams and other brands. Just want to pass my knowledge on.
We know that a lot of your friends are authors, so what’s your favorite book right now?
There’s a book I'm reading that is super random called “The Second Mountain” by David Brooks. It’s interesting because he’s actually a conservative writer so I don’t necessarily read stuff by conservatives but I think he has an interesting take on life and meaning.
Is there anything else you want people to know?
I would urge people to get more involved in their local communities and uplifting other people, brands, and friends that you think are doing good things. The message of my book is one about community and how my brand is really powered by bringing people together and providing a platform for other people to exist.